Sunday Entries

by Addison Bevere

Separator Words with God by Addison Bevere

July 16, 2023

Hope Is The First Dose

As for me, I will always have hope . . .
— Psalm 71:14 NIV

This week, I asked a dear friend, who happens to be an author and neurosurgeon, to write the Sunday Entry for us. Allow me to introduce you to Dr. W. Lee Warren . . . I know you’ll enjoy his words.

My twenty-two years as a practicing neurosurgeon, and my ten years as a bereaved father have made the diagnosis exceedingly clear: life is hard, and beautiful, all at once.

This shouldn’t surprise us. Even Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble,” and “I have come that you may have abundant life” (John 16:33, John 10:10).

What then, shall we make of the seeming contradiction? How can we have abundance when so much pain abounds? It’s lurking in my hospital daily—trauma, tragedy, tumor, and the slow decay of our abilities to time. And, every day since my son Mitch died, his loss weighs on my heart even as it has aged my body.

You have, no doubt, suffered some of these or other massive things as well: loss, pain, grief, anxiety, or a host of lesser-but-still massive maladies life brings to us all. But in my decades of walking among and trying to help the hurting, and in my family’s decade of hurting with them, I have discovered the single most important treatmentwe must learn to apply if we want to live not only in the trouble Jesus said we’d face but to also rediscover his promised abundance: Hope.

Hope is not simple optimism or wishing for something to be different when life hurts. Wish as much as you want, and it will not help you heal. Biblical hope is in someone, the Healer who rose from the dead with his life restored but his wounds still visible. And so can you too, my friend.

It is not easy—no surgery is—but there is a treatment plan to restore your heart and your happiness again after pain convinces you they are gone forever. Jesus said it plainly: “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come that you may have abundant life.”

Response

Have you been through a massive hurt or a collection of wounds that have left you wondering if you can heal again? The neuroscience is clear: you can’t change your life until you change your mind. And this is what Paul means in Romans 12:2 when he says that the procedure you must undergo to stop allowing life to force you to conform to its pressures is to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” We often read that verse in the light of not following culture’s demands on our lives. But in this space, bring your wounds to the Healer, and ask him to transform them through his promise of abundant life

Closing Thoughts

The biblical model of changing our minds through pursuing God’s promises tracks perfectly with modern neuroscience’s discovery that how we think controls most of how we live. Philippians 4:6­–8 is the best primer on self-brain surgery in the Bible. It’s all part of the Great Physician’s treatment plan for your healing.

And hope is the first dose.

Dum spiro spero (While I breathe, I hope),

Lee

Separator Words with God by Addison Bevere

P.S. Dr. Lee’s new book Hope is the First Dosecomes out on Tuesday, which basically means you can get it now . . . a decision I’d highly recommend. 🙂

P.P.S. I don’t receive affiliate revenue or anything like that. I just like introducing you to books and people that I believe in.


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Sunday Entries

On most Sundays, I share a few words on prayer as a way of life, words that help us open the conversation so we can see, hear, and experience more of God in our daily lives. I’d love for you to join the conversation.

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The Entries

When it comes to prayer, are you quick to hear and slow to speak? Do you just fire off a bunch of words in God’s direction and move onto whatever’s next? I know I have a bend toward such prayers. That’s why I want to remind us today that prayer is less about performance—i.e., getting the words right—and more about a surrendered awareness that only comes with a listening posture.

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As we lay down our self-sufficiency, taking our focus off ourselves, we become more grounded in God’s Omni-Nature, finding eyes to see that the whole earth is full of His glory (and that even includes us, His “very good” work). The holiness of God invites us to see Him in the wholeness of creation, for the Eternal One is indeed the Source of all goodness, truth, and beauty.

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Are there areas in your life where you feel held back and need a breakthrough, a sudden advance beyond or through an obstacle?

God doesn’t need perfect words but he does need you to participate. Our imperfect prayers and cries will, in the most surprising of ways, open us up to the miraculous work that He’s doing in us.

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06.11.23

“I’ve been thinking a lot about circles lately. So much of life is defined by circles—our days, week, months, and years form circles for us to move in and through. We’re constantly reminded that the end of a thing has a way of taking us back to a beginning. It would seem the cosmos announces the Circle as God’s shape of choice…”

Addison Bevere is the COO of Messenger International, a ministry founded by John and Lisa Bevere in 1990 that exists to develop uncompromising followers of Christ who transform our world. Messenger is dedicated to providing people with access to life-transforming messages regardless of their location, language, or financial position.

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Addison Bevere

Husband, father, author, poet, speaker & follower of Christ

addison-thumbnail-2021
Addison Bevere

Husband, father, author, poet, speaker & follower of Christ

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