Our Pastor gave a great message last week on hope. As I was listening to this message again this morning, I couldn’t help but think of the many marriages that have lost hope and then acted on that hopelessness in divorce.
Pastor Zac uses the passage of Hebrews 10:23, “Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” With this passage, Pastor Zac explains that we can hope in God because He is good for what He promises. Unlike many of us who promise this and that but are sometimes unable to follow through for various reasons, God is capable of following through every time. God’s promises are not only true, they are trustworthy. He has all that He needs to fulfill all that He promises.
I may not remember every single word of my wedding vows, but I do remember one passage that was read, “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” (Matthew 19:6). This was a pledge that my husband and I made to each other on that precious day of commitment. But it was more than a pledge; I believe it was also a promise from God to us. While we committed to not let anyone separate us, I believe that God would also not let anyone or anything separate us if we trusted Him for this promise in our marriage. On many occasions we have had people, circumstances, stress, (my driving skills!) and a whole host of things strive to separate what God joined together in us. But I will tell you, in those many times there is one thing that we did that taught us to hold on, push through and see God’s promise come to life in our marriage…
Many marriages are struggling today; some partners might think that God has broken His promise to them, but look back at what Hebrews says, “…let us hold tightly…” What are we holding tightly to? The hope of God’s promise. In a struggling marriage, it’s not that God has broken His promise; often times it’s that we have let go.
Marriage is not easy. Two different people coming together to create oneness in Christ is a journey of ups and downs; struggles and triumphs and even unity and separation. But one thing I know, if we can hold on tightly to the promise that God can unify the most desperate of marriages, He can deliver.
Dan and I have found ourselves in hopeless times in our marriage; what has kept us from the divorce courts and the way of culture? It was not love, not feelings, not romance, not sex, not even going to church – it was prayer! Prayer is a powerful adhesive that unites the most indifferent relationship. After a while, how can you hate the one you are asking God to bless? And I do mean to pray a prayer of blessing on the one who hurts you. This is not a “bring fire and brimstone upon my spouse” kind of prayer. Pray for them, not against them. Even if you don’t feel like it, do it. It works!
If you find yourself in a hopeless marriage with no light at the end of the tunnel, hold tightly to the Lord’s promise to you. I know it takes two to make this journey complete; one partner may not be so willing as the other. Or maybe you are so hurt you feel you can’t heal. You can! Trust me, you can! I suggest with earnest that in this time of waiting for the other and even for your own hurting heart to heal, pray. Pray for God’s Holy Spirit to give you power to hold on, for “after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you” (1 Peter 5:10).
Dear Lord, You are so powerful and able to heal whatever is broken in today’s world. Whatever is impossible is easy for you. I lift up the struggling marriages in our churches; I pray that you will be their glue, their magnet, their HOPE. Give them a view of Your trustworthiness and give them the courage to step out in faith and hold on and not let go. In this step of faith, be faithful as You are to heal their marriage and bring back together what You have joined. In Jesus Name, Amen!
Picture By Rosen Georgiev, published on 04 April 2011