Recently I was at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Florida and learned that in 1969, Neil Armstrong’s spacecraft was just 28 seconds from running out of fuel before landing on the moon! Personally, I have coasted into a gas station on empty before, but there is no comparison to the daring of coasting into the moon! Somehow I don’t think Neil would have enjoyed that first step on the lunar surface nearly so much if he had the haunting notion — “I will never be going home.”
We all run on the hope that we will be going “home” someday. For Neil, his hope was to get back to earth. For the rest of us, our hope is to leave earth!
While earth has it’s gravity, life on this planet has a different gravity - the weight of death, failure, and heartaches quickly burn our hope reserve and leave us empty. Likely YOU get refueled with new hope all the time. You are reading the Bible, hearing from the Holy Spirit in prayer, rehearsing hopeful gospel thoughts and favorite promises. But the people you work with, your associates — they need hope and you can bet, somebody around you is running on vapors — in fact — some are walking around silently thinking, “I am never going home.”
The Bible is a remarkable fueling station. There are some 3500 promises in scripture. If you claim one promise every day and two on Monday you’ll have fuel for eight years. (We all need more power on Mondays.)
So let me show you how you can unpack a Bible promise for a friend who needs it.
First let’s consider a few promises of the type I am talking about.
• “Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and you will glorify me.” - Psalms 50:15
• “Because he has set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he has known My name. - Psalms 91:14
• “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Here are six steps you can follow to help the hopeless around you. Teach them how to squeeze the latent HOPE from these verses. (First select a good promise. You can find a selection here: http://www.gotential.org/abc.html
1. They have gotta read the promise. (Yes, you can write it out and give it to them. I sometimes photo copy a page of my Bible and then use a highlighter.)
2. Tell your friend what they are looking at. Say, “This is a promise.” Just like a tribal person in the jungle may not know what paper money is, your friend may not understand what it is they are looking at. Explain what a promise is: “A promise is an agreement between God and you.”
3. Unpack the promise. Ask them: Who is speaking here? Who is the I and who is the you? What words pop out to you?
4. Tell them how they can “own” the promise. Encourage them to speak out loud to God and repeat the promise or a portion of the promise back to God, and simply say, “God, thank you. I am claiming this as mine, and asking you to make good on it.”
5. They must put their trust on the promise. “Remember, God never made a promise that was too good to be true!”
6. Have them write it down, and repeat it daily for at least a week. (Don’t let positive thinking, substitute for absolute trust in a God of infinite resource!) Yes, God’s promises are substantive because they are backed by Him!
Be sure and remind the person whom you are hope-ifying that God loves them to the moon and back! Here is one promise that tells us just that:
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39
Now that’s hope that is out of this world!
Live your Potential,