Romans 15:1-6, We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The world is an ugly place most of the time. People are faced with all kinds of problems. Many are small problems and many are big problems. There are no perfect people. In fact, it is just the opposite of that. People have problems! There are hurting people whom we come across every day. These people need our help. They need God’s help. Every person we run across every day is going to have some kind of problems. Some of these problems are extremely serious. Most of the people who contact us here at Hope Biblical Counseling Center are believers. They have received Christ as Saviour. The two most frequent questions we receive are: “Do you think we can save our marriage?” The other one is, “What can I do about this child?” The reason they have contacted us is because they are at the end of their rope. They are not really sure what to do and they do not have any hope. People need hope in their life!
Let me give you an example of something Kim (my wife) and I might hear from people who contact us. Over the years now I have become more and more convinced that we serve the God of answers. However, many of God’s people are struggling so hard to find the answers! Many are destroyed because they have no hope, because they cannot seem to find the answers. In a counseling session, a young couple comes in for counseling who have been married a few short years. They had both made professions of faith, but were not regularly attending church. They stated they were fighting all the time over everything. In fact, they just were not sure they even liked each other anymore. They were $50,000 in debt and $10,000 was in credit card debt. His complaint was she spent money like a wild woman and she complained he was never home. He stated he was working later because they were never going to get their debt paid off and “she wants to quit her job and start a family.” He does not see how that could happen especially until she stopped spending money. He complained her family is always at his house and he feels they have no privacy time. His family lives a state away and there is always a conflict on where they will spend the holidays. This has caused their relationship to not be a good one in every facet and they just fight all the time. Not a pretty sight, is it? They are at the end of their rope and they do not feel their marriage can survive. They have spent a considerable amount of time going to a secular counselor who told them to let their feelings out. That was a waste of time and money as they were already doing that. So, does God have an answer for their many problems?
Folks, this is the type of thing that we at Hope Biblical Counseling Center hear every week. In fact, a pastor does not have to be in the ministry very long until he will hear the same type of thing. That is why we started Hope Biblical Counseling Center, to help people find the answers that they most desperately need, to help them turn their marriage, family, and children around, so they can have a productive godly life. So they can have hope.
There are many Christians out there who have lost hope. The word hope means desire with expectation. I am writing this article to tell you there is hope for your life no matter what problem you have. You do not have to do drugs, drink alcohol, get involved in immorality, watch endless hours of television, endless hours on the computer, get in bed and stay there and cry, sit in your room all day and play games, beat your wife and children, or be mad all the time because you have problems and you are not sure how to handle them. You do not need to worry or have fear in your life if you are a Christian. You are trying to hide the pain, discouragement, and depression you feel.
We serve the God of answers! We serve the God of hope! Most of us get saved because we need hope in our life. I am convinced the Bible is the hope book. It has the answers. Let me show you. In Romans 15:4, For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Wow! Did you notice that God said, the Scriptures give us hope? Let’s see, what are you dealing with today? Bitterness, anger, poor marital relationship, poor home life, rebellious children, wife or husband who seems unhappy and angry, financial problems, loneliness, immorality, pornography, physical problems, or parents that do not understand you? So, I just answered your biggest question. Where do I find the answer to my problem or problems? The Scriptures. You mean the Bible has the answer? Sure it does. So, where are you going to find the answer to your problem? In the Bible! So, God is the God of hope. You have just been given hope; there is an answer and you can change your life.
Titus 1:2, In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.
Do you have the hope of eternal life today? That is where it all begins. You will not be able to solve life’s problems without first coming to God and getting saved. That is what this verse is about. Getting saved gives you hope. What does getting saved also do?
Hebrews 6:19, Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.
Did you notice that our salvation is our hope and an anchor to our soul? So, finding answers starts by having Christ as the anchor of our soul! There has to be a time in your life that you receive Christ as Savior, that you repent of your sins, ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and come into your heart and be your Savior. Otherwise, you do not have an anchor. Therefore, you really do not have any hope. You may think the world, the school, or living for yourself is the answer, but it is not. It is only an empty void. It is only a place of pain, and you will feel it greatly. In the deepest darkest hour of the night, you will have dark nights with no answers and ultimately you will die without Christ and go to hell for all eternity.
Maybe you have received Christ as Savior today, but you are involved in things that you know are not right with God. You have tried to change, but it hasn’t worked. You are unhappy, and do not know what to do. Many of God’s people are defeated in their life because they have been convicted about a certain sin, and they have asked for forgiveness and promise never to do it again. However, a day or two later, they do the same thing again. The process goes on many times and they are exasperated with the feeling of hopelessness. They feel nothing but despair and wonder why God has not helped them with this. I have been studying for several months now about what the Bible says about how people change. Again God’s Word has that answer. There are chapters in the Bible that are known for something. As an example, I Corinthians 13 is the love chapter and Ephesians 4 is the change chapter. I would encourage you to read this chapter over several times and mediate on it, especially Ephesians 4:22-24.
In the next article I am going to talk about Biblical change in Ephesians 4 because there is hope there for all of us, as Christians, to change.
What is it that makes you happy? Is it the next purchase, the next movie, the next ball game, the next amusement, but then it is back to the same thing of being unhappy? That’s tragic.
Psalm 52:7, Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.
You as a Christian are unhappy and you know you have problems. Do you know why?
Romans 15:1, 3, We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves, for even Christ pleased not himself.
II Corinthians 1:9, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God.
The Biblical answer is twofold; you are living to please yourself. This is really a pretty foolish thing to do, yet many of us do it.
The second answer is you are not trusting in God. It is a tragic thing that causes much pain. Trusting in ourselves is not the smartest thing we can do. We already know we do not have the answers. The answers to every problem we have can be found in the Bible. I said earlier we serve the God of answers. We serve the God of hope!
Romans 12:2, And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect will of God.
Did you notice the word mind? The Bible tells us that man looketh on the outward appearance, but God looketh on the heart. Folks, the heart or mind, the inner man is what God engages and communicates with. If you are trusting in yourself and your mind is polluted by the world or conformed to the world, you know you do not have the answer. Living contrary to God’s Word, your mind will make you feel bad and you will feel miserable. So, what is it that we have? We have hope. If you are not saved and do not know Christ, begin the hope journey. Turn to Christ and you can have hope. If you are experiencing problems today as a Christian and you are unhappy and do not have joy, the answer is you are living for and pleasing yourself.
Stop and find the answer from the God of hope from the Scriptures. Many times God’s people do not understand they are living to please themselves. They just feel great frustration about their lack of ability to change and they lose hope. When we live for ourselves it is a tragedy that will only get worse. God doesn’t want us to live that way. He wants you to know He loves you; He has the answer for you. He wants you to understand that no matter where you are and what has happened, His Word has the answer for you. You can be a vibrant joyful Christian again. You can have a real relationship with Christ. Hope is the answer and all people need hope. He can help and he wants to help. Turn to Him through His Word.
Romans 15:4, For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. So, whatever the problem is, begin to read and meditate on the passages in the Bible that talk about that subject, and then ask yourself this question. Is my life in line with God’s mind on this subject? If you find that your mind is not God’s mind ask for forgiveness and ask God to help you turn from living to please yourself. Then look at what God’s Word says to do to change that area of your life. Remember this. You want to know EXACTLY what God says about it, not what you think about it. May the Lord help all of us to have hope and to seek His change in our life through His Word.