Devotions

A Moment of Victory – Live with Real Hope

Eugene Lang was a self-made millionaire.  He was asked to speak to a class of 59 sixth-graders from his old school in East Harlem. What could he say to inspire these students, most of whom would drop out of school?  Scrapping his notes, he decided to speak to them from his heart. “Stay in school,” he encouraged, “and I’ll help pay the college tuition for every one of you.” At that moment the lives of these students changed. For the first time they had hope. Said one student, “I had something to look forward to, something waiting for me. It was a golden feeling.” Nearly 90 percent of that class went on to graduate from high school. 

Hope is worth the most during hopeless times.  And that’s what makes today’s Bible verse so precious.  “O Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.  He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins (Psalm 130:7-8).”   

Why do we bother to hope in the LORD, especially during hopeless times?  Because of this: unfailing love and full redemption.  Your sins are always forgiveable!  Your redemption is fully finished!  The massive debt of shame you’d have as you stand before God is simply not around anymore.  Jesus Christ has nailed it all to his cross.  Full redemption is with him!  You see, the LORD’s love for you never runs dry.  He refuses to leave you alone.  His love and redemption always calm your soul, no matter what kind of storm is tossing you around.    

Put your hope in the LORD!  Because when you are enduring a difficult episode, that isn’t when God is abandoning you.  Rather, it’s when he is sprinting your way, full of unfailing love and full redemption.  

Prayer: In hopelessness and near despair, I cry to you, my Savior!  My guilt is more than I can bear.  I have not earned your favor.  You know me as I really am – how much is truth, how much is sham.  Why should you heed my pleading?  I tremble as I feel your hand, expecting retribution.  Yet – here no curse or reprimand, but grace and absolution!  With you, there is forgiveness, Lord; you speak the sweet, consoling Word, and I am sure you love me!  Amen

Note – today’s prayer is two verses from the hymn, “In Hopelessness and Near Despair.”  This hymn is  written by Jaroslav Vajda, and is based on Psalm 130.  Vajda’s hymn is also a recasting of Martin Luther’s great penitential hymn, “From Depths of Woe I Cry to You.” 

Nathan Buege
Pastor, Victory of the Lamb Lutheran Church
Katy, TX

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