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What is hope? Years ago when I was attending church I remember the pastor define it as what gets us up in the morning. It is certainly true that without hope we have a hard time getting up in the morning. Today I want to explore hope. How do we find hope?

Recently, during my quiet time, the story of the Good Samaritan flooded my mind. There is a man lying on the side of the road. I imagine that maybe he is bloody, parched, bruised, and too weak to move. The people coming down the road step around him and ignore him. He is alone, hurting, and feels hopeless. The heat of the day is scorching his skin. He is so thirsty and feeling so hopeless, unloved, and so alone. Can any of you relate to this story? I know I can. People continue to pass by and this man is losing hope. He is becoming weaker and weaker. He cries out for help, “Father help me,” he says. Suddenly, a form comes and lifts him in His arms and carries him away to safety. In this place, this man is cared for. His wounds are cleaned, he is given water, food, and a bed. The person who carries him away sits with him, holds his hands, talks to him, comforts him, and speaks life back into him. This good Samaritan is God, our Heavenly Father. He is there with us when no one else sees our pain, our shame, our resentments, our grief, our hopelessness, our loneliness . . . He aches to come alongside each of us and fill us with hope, love, peace, and comfort. Are we willing to let him? This is where you will find hope.

Thank you Father that you are the Good Samaritan who loves us even when we fail, even when we sin, even when we feel so alone and worthless. Thank you for never giving up on us. Thank you for rescuing us. Father, tonight I ask that you come alongside each person here. I pray that you will help them relinquish all areas of their life and will to you. Father, remove their hurts, habits, hang-ups, and addictions. Restore them to sanity. And I pray that you will help them feel your grace in their lives. Where there is pain may they find healing. Where there is guilt may they find forgiveness. Where there is bitterness may they find empathy and kindness. Where there is fear fill them with peace. And Father, I pray that each and every one of us will allow you to:

Go before us to lead us,

Behind us to protect us,

Beneath us to support us,

Beside us to befriend and comfort us,

Above us to bless us,

And inside of us to give us strength, hope, and joy. Amen


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