If you are a regular reader of our Today’s Enlightenment blog, you know that our theme is HOPE. I believe that if you are hoping for something to happen, and if it is in accordance with God’s will, God will assure that it will be fulfilled, in God’s time and God’s way. Otherwise, it will just be wishful thinking. Recently I got out my personal journals, written over the past 15 years. As is probably true of most pastors, there were a lot of things I wanted to happen during those years. Now I wanted to see if there was evidence of hopes fulfilled. during the years in which I had served as a United Methodist pastor. I was pleased to find that in my first journal entry am there was about a hope fulfilled. As I read, I am found a good amount of wishful thinking, but also a lot of hopes fulfilled. So I thought that if I shared some of the stories of hopes fulfilled, they might encourage you to see how God has been and is fulfilling hopes in your life. So that’s what I will be writing about in my blog posts from time to time. Here’s one example.
I had served as the pastor of the church in which this incident took place just under two years. It was about that time that I felt that God was leading me toward change in the church, including the worship service. During the preceding months some of the members of the congregation and I had been attending training events concerning various areas of church life. Each session was taught by a person with expertise in the topic of the day. For the most part these presentations provided both spiritual and practical content, with the intent of encouraging revival in the churches. Here’s what I wrote about one of these training events, a few days before I had scheduled a healing service as part of our Sunday worship service. This would be something entirely new for this congregation. It would be looked upon as a big change.
The last few days have been filled with both challenges to my faith, and assurance that God’s will, will be done and there would be positive results). The April 1 Training Program was not good. Nothing spiritual or uplifting about it. No recognition by the speaker of God being at work. Then one of the long-term, vocal and active members of the church made some negative comments about the healing service, which would take place in a few days at the regular Sunday worship service. It was one of the few times that I actually heard someone say “we’ve never done that before.
Early on the morning of the healing service I wasn’t feeling good about it. So I asked the choir to pray for me about this. Then one of our newer members gave me some words of encouragement. One of our long-term members assured me that God would make everything okay.
The worship service proceeded as usual. Then it was time for the healing service. I thought that three or four people might come to the communion rail for healing. Or maybe no one would come. But to my surprise and amazement, 30 or more came forward and kneeled to be prayed over and anointed with the healing oil. That was about a third to a quarter of those present that day. I knew that God’s will was being done that day. I heard so many sincere comments about how meaningful it was to them. No question about it. Jesus was present with us. God id good. All the time. God fulfilled my based-faith hope for a positive response to this service.
After that we continued to have a healing service once a month. While we never experienced an instant “miraculous” healing, almost every time, during the week or two after each healing service, one or more people would let me know that they had experienced some kind of healing. Someone would tell me that the physical ache or pain they were experiencing had disappeared. Another person would report that a broken relationship with a friend or relative had been healed. At other times I would hear from someone who had experienced a new relationship with God.
These were the kind of responses I was hoping for. Because that was my response when, years before I became a pastor, I attended a healing service at the church in which I was a member. The particular physical ailment I was experiencing was healed. Based on my own experience and the message I received in the Bible(James 5:13-16), I was sure that God was now inspiring me to introduce the healing service at the church I was serving. As it turned out, my hope for the effectiveness of the healing service was not just wishful thinking. It was a faith-based hope which God fulfilled. God will do the same for you. If you are hoping for something, take time to seek God’s will for you. If your hope is in agreement with God’s will for you, then you can expect God to fulfill that faith-based hope, in God’s time and God’s way.
Thanks for your attention. We look forward to hearing your comments about our web-site. We also invite you to send us stories of your experiences and observations of present hopes and hope fulfilled, so we can spread them around the world via this web-site. This is one way we can all join together to help keep hope alive.
Patty Perez and Ray Gough
We also invite you to view our other web-site Ray of Hope Ministries On-Line Bible Study www.rohmbible.wordpress.com
We have also published the book shown below in the form of an e–book. We invite you to read, copy, or down-load it free at this web-site:
A Spiritual Autobiography
How God fulfilled the faith-based hopes
of an ordinary guy from Jersey City