Today Tearfund has a conference in Cork entitled Living Faith,

The world we live in is full of people desperate for hope but living in hopelessness. People have denigrated human life to that of below animal. Gangs torture each other. Armies torture each other. There are more people enslaved in the world today than at any point in history. It is a dark dark world we live in.

Hope is found only in Christ, real lasting hope, hope of a beautiful future at the foot of the throne of God. We live that hope today through our living faith. Faith that grows with each reading of the Bible, from each fellowship encounter, from each time we sit quietly in conversation with the Lord. And many many other ways our faith grows and we live with the assurance of eternal life.

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BUT

If you are in the land of hopelessness the last thing you want to hear is that life goes on and on. Hopelessness wants the life to end. So when we encourage people in their faith we have to be mindful that although we are in the same race and will finish together in a blaze of glory for the Lord we have to understand that people are coming into that race from different places and some of them have come from the clingy self prophecying land of hopelessness.Avis Marguerite Burgeson Christianssen was born in 1895, she was a poet and hymnwriter and died in 1985, aged 90. She based this hymn on John 3:16 “For God so …. (you know the rest) It is a beautiful hymn extolling the Love of God personified in Christ, love has found a way. I see the hymn as a call to those in hopeless situations, there is nothing we have done or that has been done to us that can not be forgiven, that can not know this LOVE that pours down on us from God, that the Spirit can’t soak us in this beautiful wonderful love. Emmanuel, living within, cleansing our hearts, walking with us as we traverse good times, difficult times, times of testing and trial, times where in human thought a situation is hopeless. Love transcends all, love can overcome everything, love.

Love

Wonderful love that rescued me, sunk deep in sin,

Guilty and vile as I could be—no hope within;

When every ray of light had fled, O glorious day!

Raising my soul from out the dead, love found a way.

Love found a way, to redeem my soul,

Love found a way, that could make me whole.

Love sent my Lord to the cross of shame,

Love found a way, O praise His holy Name!

Love brought my Savior here to die on Calvary,

For such a sinful wretch as I, how can it be?

Love bridged the gulf ’twixt me and Heav’n, taught me to pray,

I am redeemed, set free, forgiv’n, love found a way.

Love opened wide the gates of light to Heav’n’s domain,

Where in eternal power and might Jesus shall reign.

Love lifted me from depths of woe to endless day,

There was no help in earth below; love found a way.

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