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                           Where to Find Hope to Cope
                                    by Pastor Ray Dare

You can go forty days without food. You can go about 8 days without water. You can go a few minutes without air. But you cannot go one second without hope! Hope is the expectation that things can be different. That I can change. I can be the person God always intended for me to be. When you feel hopeless about a hurt, a habit or a hang-up in your life, you think "My situation is never going to change! I'll never be any different!" You need hope to cope.
God says, "I have seen how they acted, but I will heal them. I will lead them and help them, and I will comfort those who mourn. I offer peace to all, near and far!" Isa. 57:18 (GN). God wants to give you hope. He wants to help you heal. Here, He is saying that there are five parts of recovery that He wants to do in your life:
            First, if you have been hurt - God says, "I want to heal you."
            If you are confused - He says, "I want to lead you."
            If you've ever felt helpless to change anything - "I want to help you."
            If you've ever felt no one understands you - "I want to comfort you."
            If you've ever felt worried or afraid - "I want to give you peace."
I believe that church should be a place of hope. A safe place, where people can be loved, hurts, habits, hang-ups and all. A place where real people can talk about real problems and not be blown away by judgmental attitudes. In fact, we say, "Regardless of your background, where you've been or what you've done or how long you've done it - You're welcome here! Regardless of your religious background, you're welcome here. There's just one catch - you can't be perfect! But if you don't have it all together, maybe you need to work on a few things, maybe you have a few bad habits, a few hang-ups, a little shady thing from your past, you've got some areas that just aren't all together - then this is the place for you!" Because church should be a place of hope, a place for people who have blown it and who want to change, who want to grow, who want to make a difference, who admit they're not perfect - they don't have it all together. Jesus said "I came for those who need a doctor..." Mark 2:17
Beginning Sunday October 29th, we're beginning a new series of messages called "Healing Choices". In this series, we're going to talk about how to handle, and how to overcome the hurts in your life, the habits that are messing up your life and the hang-ups that cause pain in your life. Hurts, habits and hang-ups. This series is for everybody, because none of us are perfect. You're invited to be my guest as we begin this series of messages, and invite a friend!

See you Sunday,

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Updated 10/5/17
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