Jesus Brings Hope

by Renod Bejjani

Isolation, fear, financial hardships, grief – any these things by themselves can radically alter the course of your life. Imagine all of them happening at once. Now imagine that happening to you without faith and trust in Jesus Christ. That’s what happened to Samer. He never dreamed that Jesus brings hope.

Samer’s world came crashing down when his father passed away from Covid19. Then he lost his job and suffered extreme financial hardships. Isolated, overwhelmed and utterly alone, Samer felt desperate and considered suicide. He wondered where he would get his next meal and how he could ever pay rent. Everything rested on his own depleted strength. He was in crisis.

Jesus Pursues

In the years leading up to this moment, Samer had repeatedly stonewalled his Christian friend Mike’s attempts to pray together or share his faith in Jesus.

“I don’t need your prayers, and I don’t need Jesus,” Samer firmly said. “Don’t ever talk about that stuff with me.”

Still, Mike continued to love Samer in words, actions and deeds, while waiting for clues that the Holy Spirit might be working in Samer’s life. Even after moving across the country, Mike never gave up praying for and reaching out to Samer about the hope that Jesus brings.

One day last month, while in prayer, the Lord brought Samer to Mike’s mind. So, he texted his friend, “How are you? You’re on my mind today.”

Samer quickly called Mike and in a rare moment of transparency, shared his desperate situation. Could the Lord be at work in Samer’s life? Mike wondered.

“Samer, God is real, and He loves you. He sees your situation. Let me pray for you right now.”

For the first time ever, Samer said, “Yes.”

After praying together in Jesus’ name, Mike shared the Gospel simply by quoting Romans 10:9.

“I believe that Jesus is Lord, and I want that hope that Jesus brings,” Samer cried.

For the first time in a very long time, Samer felt God’s overwhelming peace protecting him from worry and anxiety.

Love Compels

Immediately after the call, Mike invited a few friends from the iHOPE community to fervently pray for Samer’s situation. Some even felt prompted by the Spirit to reach out and make a personal connection – to pray with Samer encourage and connect him with other Believers and resources in his area. Through their urgent, heartfelt prayers, the Lord provided for Samer in awe-inspiring ways.

“You don’t even know me. Why would you do this for me?” Samer asked in wonder.

“The love of Christ compels me,” responded each Believer every single time.

Your Role

Who do you know who needs the hope that only Jesus can bring? Many Muslims and other non-Believers like Samer are struggling in isolation, filled with fear, grief and financial struggles. And they are not far from God because you are there. Are you willing to reach out, in love, to share your faith and point them to Jesus?

Many people like Samer become more “spiritual” during desperate times. God the Father woos them to Jesus (John [6:44]), and God the Holy Spirit enables them to confess Jesus (1 Corinthians 12:3).

It may not happen overnight. In fact it rarely does. Don’t give up. For years Mike has been a faithful friend to Samer, patiently planting Gospel seeds. You can do the same, trusting that God is at work, preparing his or her heart for Jesus in ways you can’t see.

Next Steps

  1. Be ready. Get your copy of Muslims: 5 Biblical Essentials Every Christian Should Know and Do.
  2. Tell the Lord you’re willing to bring he hope of Jesus to friends like Samer, who don’t know the Truth. Ask for the Lord to grow your faith and trust in His ability to guide you.
  3. Share this story with friends to inspire and encourage them to share their faith.
  4. Give. Help iHOPE inspire and empower more Believers, like Mike, to bring the hope of Jesus to Muslims, and other non-Believers

Thank you for joining us in striving for the day in which every non-Believer, like Samer, will hear the Good News through an authentic Christian witness, like Mike…and you.

 

Note: Names have been changed to protect identities.

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