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The Pilgrim’s Path – April 17, 2022

“…without hope and without God…” Ephesians 2:12
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead!” 1 Peter 1:3
According to a National Institute of Health Study, nearly 1 in 3 of all adolescents ages 13 to 18 will experience an anxiety disorder. The study goes on to state: “Chronic anxiety can lead to serious mental health problems―depression, substance use, and even suicide. It can interfere with the ability to focus and learn, causing school problems that can have a lifelong impact. It can also lead to physical problems, such as headaches, chronic pain, digestive problems, and later heart disease.”
Why is there such a growing epidemic of severe anxiety disorder among the youth of the world? Undoubtedly, there are many factors which should be considered such as the pressure of social media, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the constant barrage of global bad news on television. And certainly, there are cases in which chemical imbalances can be, and should be remedied with medical treatment.
But beyond all of this is the simple underlying truth that the world is a hopeless place! Paul reminds the Ephesian believers that at one time they were without hope, and without God in the world! Godlessness always equals hopelessness! But, in contrast, the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ offers real and lasting hope! Peter says, “According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead!” Believers can face each new day, holding on to hope, and discarding anxiety – because Jesus Christ is alive!
The simple words of the Bill Gaither Classic are as true today as the day he wrote them:
“God sent His son, they called Him Jesus; He came to love, heal and forgive; He lived and died to buy my pardon, An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, Because He lives, all fear is gone; Because I know He holds the future, And life is worth the living, Just because He lives!”
He is alive! Blessed Easter!

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