Ride of Hope - Pastor Bri Hickman - December 18, 2018

In painful times a God is strengthening you. In peaceful times he is restoring you.
In all times He is providing hope for you.

As the last couple of weeks have gone on and during some conversations with others I remembered an idea I had a long time ago about life being like a roller coaster that is CONSTANTLY under construction. How many times are we told, or do we compare our own lives to a rollercoaster? I know that I have done it a lot!

We go through life with the expectation that it’s a roller coaster with ups and downs, twists and turns and sometimes we have to get off the ride and let it be under construction. But, if we really thought about it though, we don’t have the option to “get off the ride” and let it be under construction. We have to be on the ride while it is under construction. That’s a scary thought, and NO amusement park would allow that to happen, but on our metaphorical rollercoaster ride that is life, God is constantly working on our life through the ups and downs and twists and turns all while we are on the ride.

So let me ask you, during this christmas season full of hope, what part of the ride are you on? Are you on the uphill just waiting for life to take off? Are you on the downhill that looks so scary, but is so thrilling? Are you on a constant twist that makes you queasy? Are you on the loops that make you feel like your life is being flipped upside down anytime anything happens? Are you coming up to the part of the ride that is under construction and you feel like you will fall off the ride? Is your rollercoaster in complete devastation and ruin and you feel as if you can’t even go on?

That’s that thing, all we can see is what is right in front of us at that exact moment when we are on this rollercoaster of a life. Sometimes our lives feel as if we are in complete devastation and ruin and there is absolutely NO hope of the future. I want to challenge you this christmas season to remember that Jesus coming as a baby was the ray of HOPE that we all need. At times we can forget that little ray of hope that came so long ago, but as we talked about a couple weeks ago during our morning worship, Jesus is coming again, and we must hold onto that hope until that day comes.

In the advent devotionals that the teens are going through, one of the messages spoke about hope in times of desolation…

“Perhaps all you can see right now is a destroyed forest. The desolation might be your marriage, or your family, or a child who has turned away from you and broken your heart. Perhaps your health is broken, or a career crashed and burned. You had such hopes, such dreams, yet they stretch out before you now like a burned-out forest.

But wait, what’s that? There coming up through the mud and ashes, a little shoot. There is a ray of hope and a sign that God is bringing life where we would only expect death. It is Jesus, who is making all things new.” (Jeren Rowell, A Thrill of Hope, p. 84)

Remember that even when we are on the rollercoaster, no matter what part of it we may be on, God is still in control. He is sending us that ray of hope we all need. He sent that ray of hope 2,000 years ago, and is still providing Hope to this day. Hold on for the rollercoaster ride and allow God to provide Hope while it is under construction.