We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)
 Romans 8:24-25 NLT

I know of two families who face an uncertain future as, in each case, a life hangs in the balance because of cancer. When our dreams and possibilities shrink away because of such unbearable realities, what are we to make of God’s promises? Where do we find hope within our experience of hopelessness? For many of us, this is our greatest fear.
I’ve walked that path and while for me it took quite some time, I found God lay within my worst nightmare and gave the contours of life a stark, yet clear, reality. I knew who I was, what the situation demanded and the choices I had. Healing seems the obvious solution, yet that healing has so many layers beyond the instant removal of the physical challenge. I found hope. Hope in the promise of life beyond death. Hope in the courage, grace and generosity of my dying wife, Katey. Hope in the kindness of friends, as well as of complete strangers. When I was able to look beyond the immediate terrors of circumstance, I found there was a hope to which I could cling, one that required my active faith and brought God’s promises to life. The choice was simple. To deny or to embrace God, a Gethsemane moment. A deliberate choice for God, knowing such a choice would not spare me pain, yet offered me redemption.
In these circumstances, we need for a dynamic encounter with God. That encounter offers a chance to grasp hope from the jaws of hopelessness. The question lies with you and your choice, a choice that will never be pain-free.

 Do you face heartache, or know others that do? Do you yearn for a fresh encounter with God?
In a darkening world where hope is bombarded by the threats and insecurities that surround us, thank you, God, for offering hope and your presence in the valley of the shadow of death.