Close

October 5, 2017

Restoring Hope: Part 4

“Then He said to me, ‘Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel.’ They are saying, ‘We have become old, dry bones—all hope is gone. Our nation is finished.’ Therefore, prophesy to them and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O My people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel. When this happens, O My people, you will know that I am the LORD.’” Ezekiel 37:11-13 (NLT)

Hope rises when we remember three important, irreversible, nonnegotiable truths about God.

First:  God Knows 

God knows what is happening in our lives.  He knows the hurt we feel.  When God called Moses to deliver Israel from their bondage in Egypt, He told Moses these three truths.

“The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey….” Exodus 3:7-8 (NIV2011)

God said, “I have seen and heard their misery.”  I know what they are going through.  God knows what you are going through as well.  It’s easy to forget that when you’re hurting and He feels so far away.  The truth is that everyone has a hidden hurt.  Jesus never lost sight of that when He saw the masses of people.  Matthew, the tax collector, must have been struck by this when he wrote:

“When (Jesus) saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because (He knew) they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”  Matthew 9:36 (NIV) (insert added)

God knows your sorrows. He knows your pain.  He even keeps a record of your tears. The Bible tells us the kind of God He is:

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book.”  Ps. 56:8 (NLT)

Second:  God Cares 

God told Moses,

“I am concerned about their suffering….” Exodus 3:7 (NIV)

Like Ezekiel, God not only knew that the people were hurting, He cared.  He cares about your sorrows as well.  When Peter wrote his letter to suffering Christ followers dispersed by persecution, he reminded them to:

“Cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”  1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV)

When Jesus was at the graveside of his friend Lazarus, even though He knew He would raise Lazarus from the dead, the Bible says,

“Jesus wept.”  John 11:25 (NIV)

Never forget that Jesus cares.  He cares about you!

Third:  God can! 

Grace is compassion in action!  God knows. God cares.  And God can restore hope and rebuild our lives!  When they thought their nation was finished and all hope was gone, God told Ezekiel:

“This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O My people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel. When this happens, O My people, you will know that I am the LORD.”  Ez. 37:13 (NLT)

God was saying that He wasn’t through with Israel.  He had a hope and a future for them!  And God is not through with you either!  He has a hope and a future for you!  I love the way God speaks to them.  Twice, He affirms them as His people!  He had not abandoned them or His purpose in their lives.  He says, “O My people…” two times in verse 13.  As Christ followers, we belong to Jesus!  He promised that He would never leave us or forsake us!  He said,

“I will be with you always, even to the end of the age!”  Matt. 28:20 (NLT)

History has proven God did restore and rebuild the nation of Israel.  God will do the same for us as we turn to Him, trust Him, and remember: He knows, He cares and He can!