Dr. Reagan: I’ve never been so happy in my life to see a year like 2020 in my rearview mirror. Americans need hope as never before! I’ve asked my good friend Al Gist of Maranatha Evangelistic Ministries, which is based in southwestern Louisiana, to bring us some of that much-needed hope.
Al, you have been through a very tough 2020. Please tell us about it.
Al Gist: It has been very hard. It was hard on everyone enduring the COVID experience and all of the shutdowns. People throughout the world were locked inside their houses. We were all going through that.
On top of that, my home in southwest Louisiana was struck by a terrible hurricane. It raged right over my house and left terrible devastation all throughout Lake Charles.
Along with the hurricane, a tornado tore right across my property. Fortunately, through all of that, our house was only inflicted with minor damages. But, our yard and the woods around us, they were just completely destroyed.
And then, shortly after that, I fell victim to the Coronavirus, and so I was really sick for several weeks. But, I was able to recover from that deadly sickness.
Dr. Reagan: All of your ministry’s speaking engagements were canceled. You lived through not just one but two hurricanes, a tornado, and nearly died from COVID.
Al Gist: Yes, like a perfect storm, all of these trials hit me all at once.
Al’s Source of Hope
Dr. Reagan: Where did you find hope in the midst of all of these trials?
Al Gist: My hope is in Jesus Christ. I don’t mind telling people that. I don’t see how people can live without Jesus Christ as their Lord, for the Bible says He will never leave us nor forsake us. Though He may not spare us from all of the hardships that come our way, Jesus promised that He will be with us through every hardship and difficulty.
Dr. Reagan: How did you see Jesus’ hand being was with you throughout all of your trials?
Al Gist: First off, I think of my finances. My source of ministry income had all dried up due to the loss of public speaking engagements. And yet, our finances for the year 2020 turned out better than they have ever been in the past. How could I possibly explain that except by God worked through people? We had many people came to my wife and me offering financial support to help us get through these trials.
Second, the Lord provided disaster relief. We had church groups out of Mississippi show up unannounced with chainsaws and bobcats and they began to clean up our house and property and help us get functioning again. They brought tons of supplies, food, and water. They even gave us a brand new generator to replace my old one.
God works through His people to provide for His children’s needs. I will be glad to tell that to anybody. God served us. He helped us. He provided for us. But, He did so through His people.
Dr. Reagan: Romans 15:13 reminds us that our God is a God of hope.
Al Gist: Yes, amen! And hope, if it is anchored in Jesus Christ, will be far more than enough to get you through anything. You can get through every trial once you have placed your hope in the Lord Jesus Christ.Al Gist: And #hope, if it is anchored in #JesusChrist, will be far more than enough to get you through anything. Click To Tweet
Your Source of Hope
Dr. Reagan: How can a person find their own hope in Jesus Christ?
Al Gist: Hope in the Lord is first established when you place Jesus Christ in your heart as your own personal savior. He invites us to come to Him and ask for forgiveness of our sins and to turn away from that sin and commit our lives to Him. From that step of faith and repentance, we can know that we have been saved.
Saved from what? We have been saved from eternal damnation. We have been saved from a lot of devastating prophetic events that have been prophesied to occur according to the Bible.
When a person becomes saved, then God’s Spirit resides in them. And, as you live your life daily for Him and begin to build a relationship with Him and fellowship with Him, then you will find the strength you need to get through all of these hardships and the tragedies in life.
Dr. Reagan: So, when you place your faith in Jesus, you not only have the blessed promises of the future, but you also have something that occurs right then — the Holy Spirit moving inside of you. The Holy Spirit begins to help you grow in your relationship with our loving heavenly Father.
Al Gist: Jesus Christ is the Lord of our life in the here and now, and He will be our Savior throughout eternity. He is here today, and He helps us today. I can’t say it loudly enough! I can’t say it adamantly enough to people that with Christ you can get through the hardships, the difficulties, the trials, and the tribulations of this life. But without Him — by putting your faith in your money or in the government or in anything else — you are going to find failure, depression, and make it worse on yourself.