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"Brothers, we do not want you to .. grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope ". (I Thess. 4:13).

Have you ever heard of a bridge called 'suicide bridge ?'. It is in San Cristobal, Venezuela. Its name has come from the fact that many have jumped from this bridge to a quick death. Some concerned citizens have written and installed a large message on the bridge to possibly deter future self-destructors.. at least to give them something to think about.. and hopefully to turn them back to choosing life over death.
The message, in part, goes like this : You are worth more than you imagine. There does not exist among the millions of beings that live on earth another being like you nor another with the same fingerprints. Don't lose the opportunity to learn and improve yourself more eachday, to understand the special and elevated reason that brought you to live on this planet ... because you are better than you think you are.

Perhaps you and I would have written a different message but there is some significant truth in the message as it stands. Each of us lives in settings where we are surrounded by desperate people. Often characterised by feelings of uselessness, meaninglessness, purposelessness, and hopelessness. Such a plight is a severe plight-An unknown author has said : One can live without money, fame, and family. But one cannot live without hope. William Barclay adds these words : There are no hopeless situations in life. There are only individuals who have grown hopeless about them!
Perhaps you and I need an increased awareness of this reality that there are countless such people around us (if you are not one of them!). But what is the message ?

1. THERE IS HOPE IN GOD. OUR GOD IS A GOD OF HOPE. While on earth, our Lord ministered hope to all that He touched. The ' gospel of hope' we have. Col.1:23. Ps.62.

2. THE SCRIPTURES, TOO, ARE SATURATED WITH THEMES OF HOPE. Paul says : we have encouragement through the hope of the Scriptures. Rom.15:4. Lets be full of this Book. Ps.ll9:74.

3. THE GOSPEL PROMISES TEMPORAL HOPE. That is hope for today. Hope for facing the trials and perplexities of this day. Yes, God is interested in every detail of our needs and frustrations. In Him, there is 'light at the end of the tunnel'! There is indeed'a silver lining In every cloud'. ICor.l5:19; Heb.6:18,19.

4. THE GOSPEL PROMISES AN ETERNAL HOPE... Something that is eschatologleal, yet to be evidenced in its fullness .Read IIThess.2:16. Yes, the best is yet to be.

5. HOPE IS FOUND IN A VITAL PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD JESUS: Read Eph. 2:12; Isaiah 40:31; Jer. 17:7,8. Our generartion needs the constant realization that life is not found in things..not in money,prestige,possessions etc.Nor can we place our hope in govts and ideologies. All of this is misplaced and will lead to false hope. Hope is in HIM. You and I are called to be ambassadors of hope. Let us live in that hope. Let us enjoy that hope. And let us pass it on. You and I can make the difference in another's life today.Amen!

May the God of hope fill you, with all Joy and peace as you trust in HlM, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit". Romans 15:13.

He leads me through the lifetime of my day;
He uses me in countless little ways.
He guides me on so many paths unknown;
He guards me as a Shepherd keeps His own.
He helps me, though I may not always see The many ways my Lord delivers me; He lifts me when I fall, and helps me stand ...
He holds me in the shadow of His hand, and Makes me a Polished Shaft, and says to me: My servant, in you I display My splendour". Isaiah 49:1-3.

Be encouraged,

---------------------------------Letter # 29 (4.8.2002)-----------------------
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