Hope Can Change Your Life!

David CerulloBy David Cerullo9 Minutes

Acts 3 tells the story of a lame man who used to sit and beg outside the temple gate. He had been lame from birth, so he didn’t really expect anything to change in his dismal circumstances.

I meet many believers who are in a similar predicament today. They feel stuck in circumstances beyond their control. Instead of truly entering into God’s destiny for their lives, they are languishing outside the gate. And sadly, they’re still looking to other people as their source rather than trusting God as the One who will intervene in their situation.

But the story of this lame man has a happy ending, and this can be true in your life as well …

God wants you to encounter His HOPE,
so He can transform you by His POWER!

All the lame man desired that day was a handout, but God’s plan was to give him a hand UP. The man must have been shocked when Peter told him, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, RISE UP and walk!” (v. 6)

Peter then “took him by the right hand and lifted him UP, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength” (v. 7).

It’s Time to Get Unstuck!

My friend, no matter how long you’ve been paralyzed in some area of your life – your health, your finances, or your relationships – God wants to lift you up today. He wants to give you His hope and His joy. Though you may have grown used to a life of sadness and regret, all that can change in a moment. Notice that it didn’t take years of therapy for the lame man to recover: God changed his life “immediately”!

The Lord wants to transform us from seeing ourselves as beggars to realizing our birthright as His precious children. When that happens, we go from sitting aimlessly to “walking, leaping, and praising God” (v. 8). And instead of remaining outside the gates of God’s purposes, we’ll finally enter in: “[He] stood and walked and entered the temple with them.”

Do you see what a testimony it is to others when we get unstuck from some difficult situation in our life? Just as those who witnessed the healing of the lame man, those around us will be “filled with wonder and amazement” (v. 10). They’ll be filled with hope that what God has done for us, He can do for them as well.

See God for Who He Is

Like many people, the lame man may have been tempted to get angry and bitter toward God. The enemy wants to use our difficult circumstances to cause us to blame the Lord and lose sight of His amazing plans for us.

But the Bible declares that God is our loving Heavenly Father, and He wants to meet our needs and shower us with blessings. No situation in our health, finances, or relationships is too difficult for Him to remedy (Jeremiah 32:27).

The older I get, the more convinced I become that it’s vitally important for us to see God correctly. This might seem fairly simple, but it isn’t. People often see God as a reflection of their flawed earthly fathers, and they consequently judge Him as cruel … perfectionistic … stingy … heartless … detached … traits that are completely foreign to our Father in Heaven.

Early in Jesus’ ministry, He took time to set the record straight on this. He realized His disciples had to see their Heavenly Father accurately:

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you … What man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent. If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him (Matthew 7:7-11).

If you see your Heavenly Father as He really is, your faith will grow by leaps and bounds! You’ll delight in coming to Him to share your needs: asking … seeking … knocking. You’ll understand His heart to “give good things to those who ask Him!”

Sadly, many people have earthly dads who aren’t so kind and approachable. Some fathers even punish their children for asking, seeking, or knocking, and this often clouds people’s view of God.

My prayer is that you will recognize God as the Father who loves you … the Giver who wants to hear the requests of your heart. Let me encourage you today with the words of Jesus: ask, seek, and knock!

God the Giver

One of the central verses in Scripture is John 3:16: “God so loved the world that He GAVE …” Love is the very nature of God (1 John 4:8), and the nature of love is that it gives (1 John 3:17).

Just as our Heavenly Father is a giver, He wants His children to be givers too. There’s an old saying, “Like father, like son.” Paul says this should be true of the way our lives reflect our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus:

Be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us (Ephesians 5:1-2).

Isn’t that such a great verse? Because Christ loved us, He gave Himself for us. So it’s impossible to truly love, without being motivated to give!

God Sowed a Wonderful Seed

Your Heavenly Father is not only a great Lover and Giver, but He also is described as a Gardener who sowed the greatest seed of all time: His Son …

Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain (John 12:24).

God knew that if He planted His precious Son, there would be a harvest of “much grain.” If you’re a believer today, YOU are part of that harvest! The Father sowed Jesus as an incredible seed, so He would not “remain alone” but become “the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29).

This great harvest continues today! Having sown His son, the Father now has many sons and daughters. And every time we sow the Gospel through our prayers, testimonies, and financial seeds, we become hope-filled reapers of His End-Time Harvest.

Friend, I’m convinced that God wants to show you His hope and power today. He wants to change your life and get you unstuck from anything hindering you from fulfilling your destiny. He desires to abundantly bless you, so you can increasingly be a blessing to others (Genesis 12:2).

Just as the lame man in Acts 3 experienced a wonderful new beginning, this can be a new day for YOU!

Your friend and partner to reach the lost,

David Sig

David Cerullo