The Hope Choice

It's time to head back to school! No matter your stage of life, it's never too late to learn - and the wisest among us are always learning. Some of Jesus' greatest knowledge for life comes from his mountain-side teaching points we commonly call "The Beatitudes." Many of his lessons are blunt and may make us uncomfortable; but if they are applied, will help us succeed in life - the most important thing we will ever manage.  In this series you will learn how to overcome the things that would hold you back, how to repair relationship, and how to live with satisfaction and joy.

God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble,
    for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
    for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace,
    for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

Matthew 5:3-11

“God blesses the broken road” The hope choice is when, despite my hurts and sorrows, I choose to earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to him, that he will heal my brokenness.

The Hope Choice

One thing we all have already learned: Life is tough.
This is not heaven.

God blesses those who mourn, for they will be blessed.

Matthew 5:4

This seems ludicrous. How can I be blessed in my broken world? 

·      God doesn’t expect me to be happy all the time.

·       Grief is essential to my health. Not repression or suppression, but expression.

When I kept things to myself, I felt weak inside me. I moaned all day long.

Psalm 32:8

We can choose hope in grief because:

1)   God draws us close to himself.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and he saves those whose spirits have been crushed.

Psalm 34:18

I will never leave you and I will never abandon you.

Hebrews 13:5

 Our hearts ache, but at the same time we have the joy of the Lord.

II Corinthians 6:10

2)   God grieves with us.

Jesus was a man of sorrows and acquainted with the bitterest grief. He knew suffering first hand.

Isaiah 53:3

Jesus wept.

John 11:35

 He has sent me to comfort all who mourn, to give…joy and gladness instead of grief, and a song of praise instead of sorrow.

Isiah 61:2-3

3)   God gives me his family for support.

In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others…be devoted to each other like a loving family…rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.

Romans 12:5,10,15

Comfort one another and give each other strength.

I Thessalonians 5:11

4)   God uses grief to help me grow.

Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways.

Proverbs 20:30

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

These troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing. Things that are seen don’t last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. That’s why we keep focused on the things that can’t be seen.

II Corinthians 4:17-18

5)   God gives us the hope of heaven. 

We don’t want you to be ignorant about believers who have died. We don’t want you to grieve like the people who have no hope.  

I Thessalonians 4:13

God will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things will have passed away.

Revelation 21:4

6)   God uses our brokenness to help others.

God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others with the same comfort we received from God.

II Corinthians 1:4

BOTTOM LINE: Broken doesn’t mean unfixable. God heals the brokenhearted.

Next Steps:

1)   Pray the prayer every day.

2)   If Divorce Care or Grief Share is appropriate for you, sign up.

3)   No matter where you are in your grief and loss, comfort someone else this week.