Recently I read a very sad letter. It was not a letter addressed directly to me. It was not a letter addressed to anyone specific, rather it was a letter addressed to whoever would read it. It was a very tragic letter. This letter was written by Tara Condell, who on the surface appeared to have achieved everything she hoped for. She held degrees, a good career in what she loved, friends, family and a start on what could have been a successful and joy filled life. Tara tragically ended her life.
Like so many other souls, eventually there comes a time in life when the struggles appear to be insurmountable. It does not matter what we have monetarily, materially, nor physically. We can get to a point where hope seems hopeless. This young lady got there as she said, “I have accepted hope is nothing more than delayed disappointment, and I am just plain old-fashioned tired of feeling tired.”
What a tragic place to arrive at. There were times in my life where my response to “how’s it going” would be, “well I recently found out that the light at the end of the tunnel is nothing more than a locomotive about to run me down!” Then one day this all changed for me. I found hope. More than that I found out that hope was not just delayed disappointment. I preface this by humbly acknowledging I did not know this young lady nor her heart. That is not what I intend to address here, but rather the feeling of hopelessness.
We are a people created in God’s image and made for relationships of love, unity, trust, and hope, both in Him and in others. Our soul can only be filled to the fullest capacity in hope by Him who created us. Sin distorted our ability to have these proper relationships the way God intended them to be. As a result we drew away from God and sought our own way.
We started looking for everything we could that would bring us hope but it only left us more hollow than before. We thought that maybe, just maybe we have not yet understood the correct equation to acquiring this elusive hope. So we tried everything we could to fill our tank of hope. Unfortunately, we were wrong again. Nothing we did seemed to matter and we only felt more alone, more isolated, more sadness, pain, anger, frustration, and eventually despair.
Despair became the light at the end of the tunnel. Because the One who created us to find our all in all in Him was no longer who we sought for hope. Rather we openly admit it or not, despair is one day where all of us will end up apart from God. For true lasting hope can only come from the One who created us to have hope, from the One who created us to Hope in Him for everything we could ever need or want.
Revelation 21:4 is the perfect unblemished epitome of hope!
“and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
Hope is to know Jesus Christ, to be in Jesus Christ, to follow Jesus Christ, for He promises that one day our hope will be fulfilled in Him forever more. That my friends is the very bright light at the end of your dark, insurmountable tunnel.
I humbly ask if you are reading this, pray that God gives you the opportunity to share hope with someone who is struggling to see anything other than the light of the locomotive in their dark tunnel. If you are reading this and are struggling, please know that there is hope even in the darkness of circumstances. If you are contemplating taking your precious life, please call the hotline and talk to someone.
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.
As followers as Jesus Christ there is much to be concerned about in this life. We are commanded in various passages of scripture to keep His commandments (John 14:15). We are tasked with going out into all the world and making disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and teaching them all that Christ commanded (Matthew 28:18-20). We are told what is good and what does the Lord require of us, But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8). Jesus tells us in John 16:33 that only He can offer us peace because in this life we will have troubles.
We will face persecution, devastation, and various other problems as detailed in Matthew 24; however, these are not the biggest problems we as Christians have to worry about. The biggest problem that the Christian has to worry about is Apathy. Apathy is defined as lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern. Apathy is the reason we stand by while 40+ million children are disposed of by pre-meditated murder every year. Apathy is the reason all manner of lawlessness continues to increase. Apathy is the reason that all manner of wickedness and sin permeate our society. Apathy is the reason churches in this country are crumbling.
Apathy is the reason pastors fall away, congregations are filled with dead men’s bones, and abuses are tolerated within the church. Apathy is the reason the next generation is void of anything remotely resembling a solid relationship with the Lord. Apathy is the reason parents are not teaching their children basic tenets of faith and expecting them to maintain a high level of moral excellence. Apathy is the reason parents are not maintaining the same high level of moral excellence and why families are falling apart. Apathy is the reason sin is tolerated in the lives of many Christians. Apathy is the reason our pews are empty and our ministry lacks volunteers. Apathy is the silent killer of Christians and it is killing them by the thousands.
If you find that you are struggling with apathy use the acrostic below to help you remember to remain hot, not cold nor lukewarm.
A – Apply scripture to your life (John 17:17)
P – Pray the Lords will over your life (Matthew 6:9-13)
A – Annul sin in your life (Galatians 5:16-17)
T – Tell the Gospel to the world (Matthew 28:18-20)
H – Help the local church (1 Peter 4:10-11)
Y – Yearn to know Christ better (Philippians 3:8)
15 THEREFORE BE CAREFUL HOW YOU WALK, NOT AS UNWISE MEN BUT AS WISE, 16 MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR TIME, BECAUSE THE DAYS ARE EVIL. 17 SO THEN DO NOT BE FOOLISH, BUT UNDERSTAND WHAT THE WILL OF THE LORD IS.
Before these few verses Paul tells us to be imitators of God, and to walk in Love just as Jesus Christ did through His fragrant offering to the Lord upon the Cross. Paul also says to put off the old self, all impurity, immorality, and coarse jesting (joking talk); in fact, these types of things should not even be mentioned among us. Furthermore, Paul says we should expose the evil by shinning the light of Christ.
Then we get to verses 15-17. As a result of what Paul said, you must be careful how you walk. What does it mean to walk as unwise men? Unwise men do not walk in the light, they seek to live in the dark, engaging in various impurities or immoralities. This can be gossip, slander, demeaning attitudes toward another and far worse.
Wise men seek out the light and willfully walk in it so that they can expose the evil deeds of others to the light of Jesus Christ. Wise men do not engage in gossip, slander, coarse joking, immorality, impurity, or complaining. But notice what Paul then says in verse 16-17. We are to make the most of our time because the days are evil, and we are not to be foolish but understand what the will of God is.
How can we make the most of our time, not be foolish and understand the will of God? 1) We have to treat everyday as the only day. We have to seek out ways to share Christ with a lost and dying world. 2) We have understand that scripture says "the fool has said there is no God" and so we need to embrace God in every way possible. We need to pray, we need to study His word because this is the only way we an understand what the will of God is.
Dear Christian seek to walk in the light of Christ, make the most of your time by sharing Jesus everywhere you go, and understand God's will by praying to Him and studying His word.