• Jason Wade


3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 6:3-5

Last night with our student ministry we began a series called Lost and Found. I have really been thinking about those words for a long time since we have been unable to fully meet together. I have had many conversations with people of all walks of life that have said that they truly are struggling with trying to figure out the next steps of what is to come. It seems as if one day we are able to draw hope for what may come, and then all of a sudden it seems as if something turns on a dime and we find ourselves in utter confusion how to move forward. We honestly feel lost and grasp at straws to find answers so that we can say we have confidence in what is coming next. But the true reality is we find ourselves at a loss. We find ourselves looking for something to fall out of the sky or a burning bush with a deep voice to say that everything is going to be ok and all you have to do is trust in the Lord and step out on faith. Being lost is a horrible feeling. We try to find a way to fill this void that has separated us from reality and we there is nothing there. Similar to the emptiness that is taking over the world in movie the Neverending Story. Nothing has any substance and people are just waiting for the emptiness to take over and destroy all that they know.

Maybe that is the same feeling of lostness that we are feeling today. A loss of normalcy... a loss of reality... a loss of control. Webster's dictionary defines lost as being something that is taken away or beyond our reach. It is something that we can no longer attain and actually losing that control is something that we struggle with all of the time. Living into this word lost is something that we all have to get a handle on. I have watched people through this time as feel a lost sense of identity. Many ask the questions, "Has God forgotten about me... Does God not care... Why is this still happening? We all have asked these questions that cause us to walk down the path of doubt and we continue to feel as though we are farther and farther away from God. Once again the emptiness has caused us to search for more

tangible things to put our faith in to help us overcome our issues. Some of us get lost in the internet, lost in binge watching shows or movies, lost in anything that can help pass the time so that we can get through the day and not realizing the opportunities we have lost to step and fortify our faith. Maybe we have to realize that God has never forgotten us, but that God is trying to help prepare us for what is coming. Maybe we have been lost- mentally, physically and spiritually- and God is giving us the ability to step back into a relationship with God because He has been trying to find us through the last 12 months... or maybe even years.

In the letter 1 Peter, we are watching as Peter is writing to the churches that are being persecuted by the ruler Nero. They feel as though God has left them and the people of the church are beginning question God's plan. They feel lost and confused and beginning to doubt what the next steps may be as they are watching fellow Christians being arrested and some killed for their faith. So Peter is writing to encourage them that God is with them every step of the way. He continues to reassure them that God has provided a way for them to continue to find trust in His word and to realize that the testing of their faith is a part of the spiritual journey God is leading them on each day. As people who are lost and have no connection to God, it is difficult to truly find a way to have hope. They have nothing to put their trust in and they are seeking anything to help them in their current situation. For us, just like the early Christians, we have a LIVING HOPE. We have been given a gift through the fullness of Christ's blood sacrifice. We have a LIVING HOPE that Christ died and came out of the grave in order that the world would not be lost in their sin, but would have the fullness of a pardon that proved God would continue to pursue us like a lost coin, lamb or prodigal's son until we are fully FOUND through HIS GRACE. I just pray that we all realize that God is fighting every day to get through the walls that we have built and help us to realize the price that God is willing to pay to reconnect with His lost creation.

May we realize that the reality is that in our lostness, God is shining His light to help us be able to focus and see the way back to be FOUND. I hope that we all realize that by turning a page in our lives, we are able to step out of lost behavior and step into a journey that will help us to rebuild the foundation in Christ that we need to take the next step in our faith journey. As I conclude today's blog, I am asking that you watch the video below and listen to the fact that we are not the first generation that has gotten lost in our journey. We are not

the first ones to question what is going on in the world and not the first ones to feel lost in such a way that we have no idea what the next steps are that we need to take. BUT I also want you to realize that God never stopped trying to find the ones that are lost. He sought them in the past... HE is seeking them in the present... and He is preparing to do whatever it takes to seek them in the future. Why do you think that God would pay the ultimate sacrifice by giving His ONLY SON if he was not going to do anything HE could do to provide for the LOST to be found. The world we live in is set up as a maze that we must navigate in hopes of realizing just how lost we really are. With every turn we are capable of finally making a turn that allows us to connect with God. May we help to lead others who are on this journey with us. May we realize that we have a LIVING HOPE that will help remind us of the power that God truly has over the evil in this world. May we be reminded that God can use ANYONE to be a carrier of the Gospel. We just have to stop listening to the voices that keep telling us the worst is yet to come and realize that in the end God Wins.. That's not a loss... that's finding the victory out of the defeat from this world. So just take a moment if you feel lost and take heart knowing that God will continue to pursue you and provide ways for us to be found. We just have to be willing to want to be found in the end. God is ABLE to find ANYTHING and return it to its original purpose they were created for when He knit them together in their mother's womb, God says... CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!!

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