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CrossPointe Community Church
P O Box 126
Chippewa Lake, OH 44215


If you love Me, obey My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it isn’t looking for Him and doesn’t recognize Him. But you know Him, because He lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. Soon the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me. Since I live, you also will live. When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you. Those who accept My commandments and obey them are the ones who love Me. And because they love Me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal Myself to each of them.

John 14:15-21


Surviving Dashed Hopes

Randy K’Meyer

We had high hopes, didn’t we?

When I first said the words “I do,” I had high hopes that 50 years later I would be celebrating my golden wedding anniversary. But it didn’t work out the way I had hoped and I no longer have the opportunity to celebrate a 50th unless I live to be 106.

On the day that my pal Andy and I were the first high school seniors in the great State of Ohio, invited under a new public relations program to get a VIP tour at NASA’s Lewis Research Center, I had high hopes that after college I would be using an engineering degree to not only work in the space program, but perhaps even someday become an astronaut. But alas, something changed, and it didn’t work out the way I had hoped.

On my first day of classes at the University of Akron, I had high hopes that 5 years later I would be graduating with a degree in aerospace engineering. But it didn’t work out the way I had hoped, as after just one quarter of girls and euchre in the student union, I received a letter in the mail saying my services were no longer needed and I ended up hiring on with the B&O Railroad.

After I was elected and had a successful year under my belt as the United Transportation Union Local Chairman to represent my co-workers I began to dream about being elected President of the UTU and spending the rest of my working days fighting for the rights of railroad workers. But things changed, and consequently, it didn’t work out the way I had hoped.

When two years later I was invited by my employer to resign from my union job to enter instead into management training on the B&O, I had high hopes that I would rise through the ranks and one day become a Division Superintendent or maybe even a VP. But alas, something changed, and it didn’t work out the way I had hoped.

In each case, where high hopes were dashed, what happened? “Something changed.”

The same dynamic was experienced by the disciples of Jesus of Nazareth. There they were, relaxing in the Upper Room; they’d just finished dinner, probably lighting up their favorite Turkish cigars. They’ve had a great week; the adoring crowds had welcomed their hero to town.

These disciples of Jesus had high hopes; an end to Roman occupation, religious freedom for their people, a new age of peace and prosperity for Israel inaugurated by the long-awaited, but now present in Jesus, Messiah. And they had high hopes that they were going to be right at the center of it all. Indeed, the Gospel of Mark informs us that they were already jockeying for the best cabinet posts. (Mark 10:37).

But alas, something was about to change; drastically. Jesus started telling them in John 7:33 that He was going to go away and they couldn’t come where He was going. He reiterates the same thing in 8:21, 13:33, and again in this 14th chapter, “Remember what I told you: I am going away” (John 14:28). For sure, the very next day they are going to witness His excruciating death. Talk about dashed hopes, caused by unwanted change.

So because He loved them so, Jesus gives them a precious promise. “Don’t be afraid, even though your hopes for yourselves and all Israel are about to be dashed to pieces; I will ask the Father and He will give you another Advocate who will never leave you” (John 14:16).

Parakletos is a compound Greek noun; para meaning ‘alongside of’ and kletos ‘one who is appointed, assigned, designated. In other words, the Parakletos is the one designated by God to come alongside. For what purpose we might ask? We can appreciate the job of the translators who have to decide how to best represent the meaning of the gospel writers. Some use the word ‘advocate,’ ‘comforter,’ ‘counselor,’ ‘friend,’ ‘helper.’

“Don’t be afraid of what’s about to take place; yes I am going away but just as I have been your advocate, comforter, counselor, friend, helper, I will ask the Father and He will send ‘another’ Parakletos to take My place.

Their world is about to undergo cataclysmic changes, their high hopes dashed. But Jesus wants them to rest assured that they will never face the future without His continued presence. He desires the same for you and I.

Let’s face it; life seldom, if ever, turns out the way we had hoped.

We all started out with high hopes for a blessed happily-ever-after relationship, intelligent kids, a high-paying job, a beautiful home, and good health for a long life. And then life happened! Life seldom goes the way we had hoped.

Life has a way of taking unexpected, and in most cases, unwanted twists and turns. A spouse cheated, another left, there was an accident, and a child died. Somebody didn’t get a promotion, got transferred, or lost a job. Someone got arrested, someone spent some time behind bars. Someone became addicted, someone had a serious health crisis. And we are left to reel in a backwash of significant changes that we most often didn’t see coming, nor did we wish them to.

I had a good friend who was moving into retirement as he was turning his small business over to one of his grandsons. He and his wife had purchased a 30-foot Winnebago and were making plans to spend a year traveling through the west. Before they left Dee was traveling the 8 miles to visit her daughter, and for some unexplained reason ran a stop sign at an intersection that she had negotiated hundreds of times before and was killed instantly by a tractor-trailer.

As we have negotiated life’s journey, we have learned that even though we don’t like it things are going to change; we can count on it!

That’s why it is so vitally important to also learn something else we can count on: that regardless of what change takes place in your life you will not be experiencing it alone.

Jesus has asked His Father, and the Father has given us another to help us through whatever changes come our way. I love that 4th verse of the 23rd Psalm: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil. You are with me. Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me, oh they comfort me.”

One tribe of Native Americans had a unique practice for training young braves.

On the night of a boy’s thirteenth birthday, he was placed in a dense forest to spend the entire night alone. Until then he had never been away from the security of his family and tribe. But on this night he was blindfolded and taken miles away. When he took off the blindfold, he was in the middle of thick woods by himself. Every time a twig snapped, he probably visualized a wild animal. Every time an animal howled, he imagined a wolf leaping out of the darkness. Every time the wind blew, he wondered what more sinister sound it masked. No doubt it was a terrifyingly long night for many. Finally, the first rays of sun entered the interior of the forest. Looking around, the boy saw flowers, trees, and the outline of the path. Then, to his utter astonishment, he beheld the figure of a man standing just a few feet away, armed with a bow and arrow. It was the boy’s father. He had been there all night long. 1

God is always present with us. God’s presence is unseen, but it is more real than life itself. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

And we can trust that God is always at work behind the scenes of our lives, and “causes everything to work together for the good of those who love [Him]” (Romans 8:28).

A lot of life’s dashed hopes have a greater purpose. That delay in finding your misplaced car keys may have caused you to miss the first 30 minutes of that concert you’ve been dying to see, but it might also have kept you from being involved in an accident. That date who stood you up and made you feel so inadequate was likely God’s way of keeping you available for the person He really had in mind for you. That job you hoped to get but didn’t may have been God’s way of steering you toward the career path He had in mind for you.

If I had pursued that opportunity for management training on the B & O, I most likely would have never made the decision to resign from my beloved B & O to enroll at my more beloved Ohio State with the goal of becoming a pastor.

Our invitation and challenge is to learn to “trust in the Lord with all our heart, and lean not to our own understanding but in all our ways trust in Him for He will make our paths straight” (Proverbs 3:4-5).

A few years back The Akron Beacon Journal ran an especially meaningful sports article with an interesting picture. The picture depicted a high school freshman as she prepared for a track meet. With shoulder-length brown hair, she looks like most runners her own age, thin, focused, intent on the race ahead. Undistracted, her face turned downward, she holds one hand at her right ear. In the other, she carries a tiny radio attached to a fanny pack. Standing behind, her father, Matt McCarthy, is speaking into a small transmitter.

Natalie McCarthy, the ordinary-looking girl in the picture, sprints both the one hundred and two hundred meter dashes. What makes her stand out from the rest of the runners is her almost total blindness. A couple of years prior her hopes to always be able to see were dashed when she contracted an eye disease.

So, how does she do it? How does she line up with a group of healthy, sighted teens and dash for a finish line she cannot see? You guessed it, by radio. Natalie runs with a single earpiece in her right ear. With her father’s voice coming through the tiny transmitter, she hears the course corrections he gives her from the sidelines. With nothing more than trust, and her father’s verbal directions, Natalie runs at full speed toward a goal she cannot see, with competitors she can only hear, over obstacles she can only imagine.

Hers is a perfect picture of our race with Christ. For us, the Holy Spirit directs our race. We too face changes, challenges, and obstacles that have a way of trifling with or even derailing our hopes. Though we don’t hear our coach through a radio earpiece, the Lord promises over and over that he will guide us in our race to the finish line. He will be with us to help direct us. He is the good shepherd who provides guidance and security. As Natalie blindly trusts her father, so must we.

So “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me” (John 14:1). And when you decide to trust in Christ, He will ask His Father to send you the Parakletos, the One who comes alongside and who will never fail nor forsake you. He promised that He would be with us always even to the end of the age.

And don’t miss the connection between the παρακλετοσ and peace. It is the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives that produces the peace that we so desperately need in the midst of change. For it is the absence or presence of change that determines one’s peace of mind; it’s the absence or presence of God.

The peace that Jesus gives is not the absence of change, but is, rather, the confidence that He is there with you always in the midst of change.

So, even when our high hopes for life are suddenly dashed because life just threw us a curve that we weren’t expecting and certainly weren’t hoping for, Jesus promises: “I will not abandon you as orphans, I will come to you. I will not leave you comfortless, I am leaving you with a gift; peace of mind and heart, so don’t be troubled or afraid.”

1 Preaching Today, God Never Leaves Us
Submitted by Mike Kjergaard, 6/18