This blog is part five of the ‘Hope Experts’ series, a topic we’ll explore throughout 2020.
Small Yet Powerful
Hope. A small word, but a powerful thought. Hope is quite possibly the single greatest heart longing of our planet right now. Never before has the community of earth been so connected in experiencing the same challenge. And like never before, have we been so unified in our longing.
This is not a wishful hope, this is an anticipatory hope.
Hope that craves to go back to school.
Hope that longs for the furloughed job to return.
Hope that yearns merely to feed the family.
Hope that enters the hospitals scared.
Hope that aches to gather again in collective worship.
Hope that knows that this virus will pass, isolation will be no more, and social distancing will end. That’s what this hope is — it is a knowing hope.
Hope is like a fire. During the day, it is hard to see. It is there … always consuming … always waiting to be used.
Yet, by night, it pierces the darkness and guides the way. We know hope best in difficulty.
“What misery is mine . . . But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.” Micah 7:1,7
Yes, He does hear us!
As Christ Followers, we are Hope Experts. Me? Could someone call me a “Hope Expert”? What about you? Would any of you consider yourselves “Hope Experts”? The answer should be…Yes! For you and for me, that is what we are as followers of Jesus.
You see, our God has an upside-down Kingdom. He deals in the small being wonderfully powerful.
Remember the mustard seed:
“If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” Luke 17:6
I used to get so frustrated, “Geez, I don’t even have mustard-seed-sized faith.” But one day, God corrected me, “No, Sergio, that little faith you do have … that faith we know that exists in you, that faith that brought you to me, and pulses in your soul — is wonderfully powerful.”
Remember the yeast:
“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.” Matthew 13:33
It’s just a little bit of yeast. It germinates all through the dough. Putting out new sprouts and shoots. Yes, the small in the Kingdom of God is wonderfully powerful.
We are not Hope Experts because we have mastered hope. We are Hope Experts because we have experienced hope.
We have met the Lord by the Jabbok river. We have been thirsty at the well. We are social distanced lepers and know what it is to be touched by Jesus.
Friends, like Paul we “have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-12
Hope cannot be quarantined. And the present circumstances have only given us an opportunity to be more creative in sharing the hope with the world. Several thousand times over, we have seen Jesus move through Stadia church plants, staff, and families. Hope is alive!
Go, friends. Take that hope – sometimes deep, convicting, all-consuming; sometimes fleeting, fickle, fumbling – to the world. Share it with everybody. Write encouraging cards, leave goodies on front porches, start Zoom game rooms and prayer times. Setup kid trivia nights on video, buy groceries for the person in line, and utilize every tool available to us in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Our God is a master at using the small in wonderfully powerful ways – have you considered that He wants to use you to bring hope?
You are a Hope Expert.
Sergio is passionate about being a follower of Jesus. A freshman in college when he came to faith, he knows well the impact of being a child without a church. Since meeting Jesus in 1999, he has served in ministry contexts that include the church in rural Kansas, an orphanage in Mexico City, Mexico, church planting in Nashville, and his alma mater Ozark Christian College in Joplin, MO. Additionally, he spent 10 years in different health care and business settings, during which he earned an MBA from Lipscomb University. Sergio is most surprised by God’s grace given to him through his wife, Jackie, and their four children: Josiah, Lydia, Eliah, and Clara. He is excited to help resource the mission of Stadia and see to it that others have the blessing of experiencing the church, and what he is most grateful for in Jesus — a family.