A Story of Hopelessness
Getting off the plane, he didn’t know his whole world had changed. The long trip home from a dangerous war was one of anticipation sprinkled with rays of hope and a yearning for returning to life and family. He survived many brushes with death and thought to himself that it had to be for a purpose. Unfortunately, those thoughts did not last long. His job was cut, several friends did not make it home from the war, others had moved away, and his marriage quickly ended. In a short time, every piece of hope that he had traveled home with had vanished. He found his life to be hopeless. He said once to me, “It’s just life.”
This is the story of a friend of mine. As a pastor, I can tell you the same story a hundred different ways and these true stories are "just life." For many it doesn't take a post-war crisis to make us hopeless; news from a doctor or an admission from a friend or spouse can do the trick. So, what do we do? We pull ourselves up by our boot straps and find ways to survive these seasons of life. But hopelessness means we see no way out; there are no solutions, no answers to the thing that has robbed us of our peace. Hopelessness doesn't believe there is a future joy; it cannot see past today's problem.
3 Hopeless people
In Mark chapter 5 we read the story of three people that Jesus encounters who are in the same state of hopelessness. The stories of their deliverance by the power and love of Jesus should give us hope that God cares for the life of the hopeless. But we have a hard time applying the miraculous to what is "just life" for us. Mark's account of the demon-possessed man, the bleeding woman, and the ruler with a dying daughter is not just about a deliverance or a healing. It tells a greater story—one that matters more to this world than a healing or miraculous sign.
The Greater Story
Jesus crosses the sea (the great divide between God and us) and comes through a storm (our sin and broken creation) to encounter a hopeless man that is full of all kinds of darkness and sin. Upon encountering the man, Jesus accomplishes exactly what He means to: He delivers, by the power of God, the Gospel. Jesus cast the man’s sins into some pigs - a great cost to the townspeople and herdsmen (deliverance costs more than they are willing to pay), so they ask Him to leave (they reject the Gospel). The freed man decides to follow Jesus, and Jesus sends him back to share the love and account of Christ with his friends and family (sends him on mission). This, too, is the story of every believer.
Everyone has seasons of hopelessness or areas of hopelessness where they aren't believing the Gospel. Mark 5 is in the Bible to help us BELIEVE again and to see the greater story of our deliverance—that God crossed the great divide between Him and us for His glory and our freedom. We are the hopeless man tormented by the demons desperately needing the dominion of Christ. We are the bleeding woman who will only find healing in Jesus. Let us also be like Jairus who sat aside every objection and fell at Jesus' feet to patiently seek help. Because in these "just life" issues, Jesus can give us hope again. He is our deliverer and our Redeemer, and He is LIFE itself! Read Mark 5 today and let Jesus help you find hope in Him.
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. (Job 19:25)