hope

hope

I have been thinking through a couple of couple scenarios as of late. One couple I know better than the other. One couple I have known longer. One couple is geographically closer to me than the other. One couple I knew for a short blip on the screen of my life, one couple has been an on again, off again, where we see them for short spurts. One couple is middle-aged and the other couple would fit into the young married category. I mention all their differences but there is a similarity in both of these couples…their marriages are coming to an end…and none of the four are believers. I grieve when I hear stories like this.

The partner in one couple suffered a major setback a few years back….and that setback could be anything for any married couple that leads to a blown up marriage. A job loss…the loss of a loved one…an illness…major setbacks can erode a marriage. 

In the other marriage, the one spouse left the other to enter into a same-sex relationship. That must have an incredibly devastating impact on the spouse that is left with the kids. It must bruise the partner’s ego in serious ways. 

But as difficult as these two breakups are…there is hope.

And the believer has something so much more to offer than the hope that our world offers. Many will offer counsel about getting back out there and finding someone new. Some will offer hope of a blown up marriage, restored.  Others may mention some of the benefits of being single. Some will remind them of all the good things that they already have in their lives…great kids…a supportive extended family…a great job…a great home…and what not. And those are not bad things…but the believer has so much more to offer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

[28] Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. [29] Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)

We find rest in Jesus when we repent and believe the gospel. We find hope in Jesus, when we come to the foot of the cross in surrender. That is the best hope that believers have to offer. That is an amazing offer.

Life may pick up. A couple may have their marriage restored. This newly single person, who didn’t want to be single, may find another to walk the aisle with. Good things may come…but their greatest need is Jesus. 

They need to know that they can find rest in Jesus, but they also need to know that Jesus is more than the great problem solver.  Can He restore wayward marriages…absolutely.  Can He provide work after a layoff…for sure.  Can he bring healing to a deathly sickness…sometimes.  But the big thing is that unbelievers need more than restored marriages and jobs and healing…they need a Saviour.

What is often the case with God is that we all have a similar story, the details may be different, but there are a lot of similarities.  As one pastor tells it, most people’s story was something like this: ‘I was walking along in life, I had the world by the tail, everything was going hunky dory, and I was living life thinking I was too sexy for my shirt…and then God dropped a bolder on my life.’ That was the Apostle Paul’s story.  The bolder in some people’s lives could well be a shipwrecked marriage.  

The greatest need isn’t to fix the broken marriage or to find another spouse, and that may happen…and that’s not bad, but the biggest need is to restore the estranged vertical relationship with God…through the Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. That is the hope that every unbeliever needs to hear.

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