Advent: December 14th – He Hears

By: Pastor Travis Stamper

“Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all…As long as matters are really hopeful, hope is mere flattery or platitude; it is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be a strength.” – G.K. Chesterton

Many of us are either currently in, or have lived through some difficult situations/seasons that seem unchangeable, like they’ll never get better. For some, it’s your child who has walked away from God. For others, it’s an addiction or some bad habit you can’t kick. Maybe it’s your marriage, maybe it’s been bad for so long, you don’t think it can get better. It could be financial. It could be spiritual. It could be physical. It could be a lot of things, but one thing is certain. When you think about these difficult situations you start to feel down, and maybe even a little hopeless. There’s a story in Luke 18 about a man going through one of these very situations.

As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind beggar was sitting beside the road. When he heard the noise of a crowd going past, he asked what was happening. They told him that Jesus the Nazarene was going by. So he began shouting, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’

‘Be quiet!’ the people in front yelled at him.

But he only shouted louder, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’  When Jesus heard him, he stopped and ordered that the man be brought to him. As the man came near, Jesus asked him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ ‘Lord,’ he said, ‘I want to see!’  And Jesus said, ‘All right, receive your sight! Your faith has healed you.’”

Let’s take a moment and think about this story. Here we have a man who was blind and has resorted to the only way he can survive, which is begging. He can’t work. Perhaps this man was able to see at some point in his life, but now that’s all gone. All the color. The faces of his family. It’s all faded into black. This man had seemingly lost everything. Well, everything except hope. Somehow in the midst of an unchangeable situation, this man had hope that things could change. It wasn’t a baseless hope, but it was centered on one person: Jesus. As Jesus walked by, this man’s hope rose up in him. Because of it he yelled out to Jesus to have mercy on him and to restore his sight, and Jesus did!

Now let’s think about your unchangeable situation. You could probably list the reasons your situation can’t change. You’ve tried before. You’ve already prayed about it. Your situation is just too complex.  As you constantly dwell on the reasons your situation is truly unchangeable, you can miss the fact that Jesus is walking by and is still ready to save those who call upon His name.

Romans 10:11 and 13 tell us that “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced,” and “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.  Can I remind you today that there is a God who is still answering prayer? Who still saves those who call out to Him? Let your hope rise in Christ again today and call out to Him once again. The One who came as a baby was resurrected as a King and is still on the throne today.   

Parents: Ask your children what we can learn from this story of the blind man. Share with them the hope we have in Jesus because He hears us.

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