The Power of Hope

On February 9, 2011, Dave Davis walked into the hospital for a “routine” diverticulitis surgery. Three surgeries later, he was taken to a hospital near Philadelphia. Infection began to seize his body. After Dave had spent 13 days in a coma, on a ventilator, and his kidneys were failing, the doctors gave his wife, Ellen, virtually no hope. But 80 days later, Dave walked out of the hospital!

The first miracle occurred when God raised Dave from his deathbed. As hard as his team of doctors had tried, humanly speaking, nothing short of a miracle was going to help. Family and friends from all over the world began to pray for Dave. A missionary friend informed Dave and Ellen that churches in China were praying for Dave’s recovery. Friends from Australia to Africa and beyond were praying, as were friends from all over the United States. Dave and Ellen’s church, Valley Forge Baptist, organized a 24-hour prayer vigil through which people signed up for 15-minute segments to pray. Around the world, 24 hours per day, people were praying to ask God to touch Dave’s life.

God had to intervene. Miraculously, He did! Ellen waited by Dave’s bedside while many extremely stressful days passed. Then on March 22, Dave awoke from his coma! By mid-April, Dave was sent to Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital to learn how to walk, eat, and take care of himself.

Shortly thereafter, Dave’s kidney doctor told him to prepare for a life with permanent kidney dialysis. Once again, friends began to pray. On May 2, the second miracle occurred. Dave went for more dialysis, and before his appointment, he underwent some tests to check his kidney levels. As Dave waited for the dialysis session to begin, a nurse came out to the waiting room. In tears, the nurse hugged Dave and said; “It’s a miracle. You don’t need dialysis anymore. You can go home!” Dave was completely off kidney dialysis!

Hope is wonderful! We hope for lots of things. Kids hope for a new toy. Teens hope to be liked or accepted. College students hope to pass the next exam. Young professionals hope to get the next great job that pays well, allows flexibility, and gives opportunity to make a difference in the world. Parents-to-be hope for a healthy child. Grandparents hope for good health and care for their later years. Hope is both personal and shared.

If you “google” the word “hope,” you will find 154,000,000 results.

Merriam Webster defines ”hope” as: trust, reliance

Desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment, as in came in hopes of seeing you; also: expectation of fulfillment or success, as in no hope of a cure, when they were young and full of hope; b: someone or something on which hopes are centered, as in our only hope for victory; c: something desired or hoped for.

Expect, hope, look mean to await some occurrence or outcome. expect implies a high degree of certainty and usually involves the idea of preparing or envisioning (expects to be finished by Tuesday). hope implies little certainty but suggests confidence or assurance in the possibility that what one desires or longs for will happen.

What do you hope for? What expectations do you have? Dave was hopeful for healing, and God gave a miracle.

The most powerful story of hope and miracle ever recorded is given in Matthew 28:1–10.

1In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

“The central event of that climax, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, is also the central event of God’s redemptive history. The resurrection is the cornerstone of the Christian faith, and everything that we are and have and hope to be is predicated on its reality. There would be no Christianity if there were no resurrection. The message of Scripture has always been a message of resurrection hope, a message that death is not the end for those who belong to God.” —John MacArthur.

The words from the angel in verses 6 and 7 especially stand out. “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead…” Come, see! Go and tell!

Come and see! Hope for you. This is personal; this is for you and me. Hope has become reality! Jesus Christ has overcome death; therefore, all who believe in Him also overcome death and live with Him forever in Heaven.

Go and tell! This is the gospel message that Christians take to the world! Jesus lives, and because He lives all who believe in Him for salvation live also! Truly, this is “Joy to the World!” Believers have the privilege and responsibility to share this joy and tell the good news about Jesus’ resurrection.

Two Greek words are given for hope in the New Testament. Elpis is an expectation or confidence, and its verb form, elpizo, is the act of expecting or trusting. The biblical definition of hope has nothing to do with a personal wish or vague desire. Rather, our hope is an absolute assurance. We are to have unwavering confidence in Jesus, who is our hope, as we patiently wait for His return.

Dave and Ellen had hope and patiently expected God to answer their prayers and the prayers of others on their behalf. They are very grateful for all of the prayers of co-workers, friends, and family. They are forever thankful for the care they received from the great team at Bryn Mawr Hospital and Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital. God worked through human hands to spare Dave’s life. You, too, can experience God’s miracle in your life by placing your faith and trust in His Son, Jesus.

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” Romans 10:13.

Hope is powerful! What a message to receive and to tell! Join us Easter Sunday—come, see, and hear as Dave leads our choir and orchestra in presenting beautiful songs of the resurrection, and witness even more miracles of changed lives at Valley Forge Baptist.

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