Bible Society of South Africa
Benescke Janse van Rensburg

New Hope (Part 1) – Day 5

New hope ... if you have lost hope

Bible text(s)

Living by Faith

16For this reason we never become discouraged. Even though our physical being is gradually decaying, yet our spiritual being is renewed day after day. 17And this small and temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble.

2 Corinthians 4:16-17GNBOpen in Bible reader

Harry Vermaak, a truck driver from the Eastern Cape, left Port Elizabeth just after midnight to travel to Plettenberg Bay. Around 02:00, he crossed the Van Stadens Bridge. When he saw a single vehicle on the bridge, he immediately knew something was wrong. Here is Harry’s testimony:

“I stopped next to the car on the bridge and sounded the truck’s horn a couple of times. There was no response from the motorist. To get out of the car on the deserted bridge at that time of the morning was a gamble. In my heart, I knew the man needed help. I prayed for God’s protection and got out of my truck.

At that same moment, the car’s door swung open. A pale man with wild eyes came towards me and fear gripped my heart. It looked as if the man was possessed with an evil spirit. I wanted to jump back into my truck, but fear paralysed me.

‘What are you doing here?’ the man asked. God sent me to save you, I replied. The man shook his head. ‘No, 03:00 is the time I will jump from the bridge.’ My stomach turned. It may be your time, I heard myself say, but it is not God’s time. He sent me to help you.

The man bent down to his car and took out a suicide letter that he gave to me. I grabbed his arm and told him to wait just a minute … At that very moment, his phone started to ring. He gave it to me. On the other side of the phone, his hysterical daughter wanted to find out where her dad was. I told her we were standing on the Van Stadens Bridge, with her dad ready to jump. She handed the phone to her mother. Suddenly, I had to fight a battle to control the mother on the one side, over the phone, and to prevent the man from jumping on the other side. I assured the woman that I would call the police and ended the conversation.

I understood the man’s feeling of hopelessness. A few years ago, I found myself in the same position. God, however, intervened and saved my life before I could commit suicide. I told my story to the man and I asked him if he loved his children. ‘More than you will ever know,’ he answered. This question made him calmer for a moment and I used the time to call the police. Ten minutes later, they were on the scene and took the man to the police station.

At the police station, tears already streamed down his family’s face, who awaited his return. I could not hide my own tears. In that moment, I realised that God saved my life and gave me new hope so that I, a broken man, could be a tool in his hand that night, to save another man’s life.”

Harry is right. God has plans for us to prosper and not to harm us. He wants to give us new hope in difficult times. In 2 Corinthians 4:16-17 we read: That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!

In the deepest, darkest moments of our lives, God is closest to us. Do not miss sight of him and lose hope. Reach out to him. He will carry you through and make you come alive again!

Bible Society of South Africav.4.20.14
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