Lessons Learned from My Sickness Part 31: Hope
BY PASTOR RONNY LUCES
Before being elected to office, Pres. Barak Obama wrote a book entitled, “The Audacity of Hope” which became a best-seller.
The title was taken from a sermon by Pres. Obama’s pastor Rev. Wright, who based his expounded homily on G.F. Watts’ painting “Hope”.
Excerpts from the sermon saying, “With her clothes in rags, her body scarred and bruised and bleeding, the harp all but destroyed and with one string left, she had the audacity to make music and to praise God. To take the one string, you have left and have the audacity to hope – that’s the real word God will have us hear, from this painting.”
With hope, anyone can aspire for something great, even for something that borders on the impossible.
St. Paul named three greatest virtues that will remain forever when all else have already failed and died – these are faith, hope and love.
I certainly believe in the power of hope to strengthen and sustain us, especially as we are facing seemingly insurmountable odds. I affirmed this truth in my sickness.
Without this hopeful attitude of being healed, that God is there listening to prayers of the faithful who are united in their voices, appeals and supplications, and to overcome difficult stages of treatment, it is easy to give up and stop trying.
But even though my body is already scarred, bruised and weak, I will still hope that God will give me another chance to be renewed, that he has the power to extend my life, that he has the grace for me to continue serving him as his servant.
And even though I can no longer perform what I have been doing in the past, when my physical strength was still normal, I will still look for ways to serve him, to inspire people, and to declare his goodness and faithfulness to anyone I encounter.
This is the hope that I’m holding on to. I will still play my harp even when I have just one string left!
Posted on FB: Monday, 24 March 2015 at 3:43 PM
About the Author
Rev. Ronny Luces was the Minister for Administration and Community Service of the Jaro Evangelical Church (JEC), Iloilo City, Philipines. He and his wife, Martha have been with JEC’s ministry since 1994.
Pastor Ronny graduated from Central Philippine University College of Theology in 1985 and was pastor of several Baptist churches.
In January 2015, after tests and two long hospital confinements, Pastor Ronny got the word he had lung cancer. He underwent chemotherapy.
Praying for healing and going through all the medical processes, Pastor Ronny wrote his reflections “Lessons Learned from My Sickness.” In July 2015, he passed away.
May Pastor Ronny’s series of reflections and meditations strengthen your hope and faith as you go through your own life’s battles.
PHOTO CREDIT: By George Frederic Watts and workshop – CgGv3RqPFUZk4A at Google Cultural Institute, zoom level maximum Tate Images (http://www.tate-images.com/results.asp?image=N01640&wwwflag=3&imagepos=1), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13466071