It is probably the most well-known Bible verse of all time. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (NIV) The Message paraphrase says this, “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.”
I love this verse. I do. It’s the introduction to God’s love story for us all. It reveals God’s character and His plan. It’s inclusive, and teeming with love. But it’s the following verse, John 3:17, that reads like an exclamation point to me. “God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help us, to put the world right again.” (MSG)
So many people go through life believing that God goes around pointing an accusing finger, shaking His head in disappointment and sighing at our shortcomings and failures. But it’s simply not true. His heart is to help, not to condemn. He sent His only Son into the world to set it right again…to set us right again.
He is our hope. Not just for life everlasting, but for life right now.
God’s hope is available to us whether we’re drowning in a sea of laundry or a sea of depression. We can experience true joy whether life seems relatively easy or we are walking through some of our darkest days. We can learn to trust His heart whether our circumstances make sense or not. We have hope for this life right now because Jesus didn’t just come to tell us how bad things are, but He came to help make things better.
Whether this season finds you thriving or just barely surviving, the truth remains the same. God is our hope and He came to mend things.
A prayer: Thank you, Father, that You alone are our hope. Whether we feel especially hopeful or not, You remain our constant. Help us truly believe that You are not in a continual state of disappointment with us, but rather that You delight in us. Psalm 149 reminds us that You delight in Your people and You crown the humble with victory. Father, today, crown us with your victory. As we humble ourselves before You, please mend broken hearts and fractured relationships. Thank you for coming to help. We look forward to the day when all will be set right by You forever. Amen.