What kind of sin steals a carefree childhood and spirals it into a world of alienation, shame, and secrecy? An evil that defies the very hope that Christ stands for, leaving hopelessness in its wake. Could it harm a child growing up in a loving home and Christian community, where the feeling of being safe was taken for granted? Being twelve, I had no reason to mistrust our friendly neighbour until the moment when he did the unthinkable and molested me. It was the beginning of Satan whispering in the night, "What kind of loving God would let that happen?" — his ultimate lie!
Due to a false sense of guilt, I kept it a secret, and shame kept me alienated and hopeless. Thankfully, Jesus heard my cries in the night, rescued me, and led me out of the darkness that was consuming me into His Sonlight. I clung to a verse that we had studied in Sunday school, "My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word." (Psalm 119:81 ESV) I asked God for answers, and He reminded me of His promise and His perfect plans for my future:
Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (ESV)
As my faith returned, I asked Jesus into my life, and I am convinced that my passion for sharing the salvation message stemmed from that traumatic time. God can heal the scars from Satan's attacks and use them for His good.
Depression, fear, anxiety, powerlessness, and believing that our sins are too big for forgiveness, are just a few of the tools of Satan to steal our hope. Perhaps COVID-19 fatigue has you feeling hopeless, believing that there is no promising future ahead. That is Satan whispering, "How can you trust in a God who let this virus happen?" More of his lies!
So, my friend, if you are depressed or full of anxiety, if you feel that your life has no meaning or purpose, and you desperately hunger for hope, remember that the enemy has lied to you. No sin is too big to be forgiven. God will give you hope.
Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (NIV)
The hope that Jesus offers is much more than a feeling, for feelings can change with the wind, but His hope is steadfast. It marches us forwards. It is a powerful shield that covers us with courage, where once fear would have sent us fleeing.
The apostle Paul's prayer for his beloved Ephesians (1:17-18) is my prayer for you today.
Prayer: O God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, give us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that we may know You better. We pray that the eyes of our heart may be enlightened in order that we may know the hope to which You have called us, the riches of Your glorious inheritance in Your holy people. Amen.
"You are loved more than you will ever know by someone who died to know you." Romans 5:6