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Oct
22

Hope for When You’re at the End of Your Rope:: 2

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What do we learn from Mark 5 that will help us when we’re at the end of our rope?

1. The end of your rope is where God begins.
Like the woman in this week’s lesson, we will try to do everything we can to solve our problems and resolve our issues. We use our networks, spend our resources, and use our common sense as our first response, turning to God as our last resort. When I was very young in ministry our church faced a tremendous financial problem. During one particular staff meeting, I said something like, “Maybe we should pray about this.” Our beloved pastor quipped, “Has it come to that?” We all had to stop and laugh at his comment, because we realized we were forgetting the very essence of ministry: faith! Sometimes we have to get to the end of our rope so we can see the glory of God at work.

2. In the words of C.S. Lewis, “Our problem is not that we are too weak; our problem is that we are too strong.”
Paul learned this lesson as he described his infamous “thorn in the flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:1-10). Three times he prayed for God to remove it, and three times God said no. Paul discovered that God’s power is perfected in weakness, so he decided he would rather experience God’s power with the thorn than live his life thorn free without God’s power. God is strangely attracted to weakness.

3. God often expects us to take the first step.
I believe Jesus knew the woman was present and that he knew her condition. But instead of turning to her and taking the first step, he waited for her to act. Sometimes we are guilty of affirming that God’s omniscience and omnipotence is enough. We live under the assumption that if God knows our needs and can act upon them powerfully that He will if He wills it. But we’re not human tokens on God’s cosmic game board. He loves us and desires that we behave relationally. We don’t have to live passively. We can express humble faith and take the risk to reach out to the hem of his garment.

Categories : Hope

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