God’s Special Messenger of Hope

The name “Inheritance of Hope” was very carefully chosen by Deric and Kristen Milligan. Hope is an essential part of this weekend and it is an essential part of our mission as you serve families here or if you serve in other areas such as Hope@Home™ Groups, Hope Hubs™, or in other ways in your community when you go home. Hope is mentioned 167 in the NIV version of the Bible and it is alluded to many more times.

In this season of my life, I pick out some verses that I read each morning and meditate over them for 2-3 months. I also pray over those verses for someone by name, and then I will share that prayer with them via email. The verses I am currently praying and meditating over that I picked out a couple of months ago are Jeremiah 29:11-13:

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’”

The context of these verses is very important. The nation of Israel had been captured and taken to a foreign land. They were a scared and conquered people and they wanted to go home. Some prophets were telling them that they were going to go home soon. Jeremiah was telling them the truth that they would not get to go home for another 70 years. The Israelites were to settle down in the foreign land and seek the welfare of the city where they now lived. Jeremiah was sending a message of hope in the midst of a very scary and dire time.
Our IoH families have to feel like they are in some alternative exile. They are hurting, scared, tired, frustrated and discouraged. Yet, there is truly hope and a part of that hope is you, the Inheritance of Hope volunteer. You are God’s special messenger of hope to the families this weekend and into the future. Always remember that you are God’s special messenger of hope.

At some of the most physically difficult times in her life, Kristen Milligan used to say that because of her close relationship with God, she felt like His most favorite child.

You, the volunteers for this weekend, are crucial to help the families feel like they are God’s most favorite children. You have planted seeds all weekend, and we are finishing up today. I am praying for you as you finish up today with your families and I am praying for whatever it is that you are going to say, the necks you are going to hug, whatever it is you might do, and the tears you may shed. All of this is a part of you being a special messenger of hope today from Inheritance of Hope.

As we prepare for this last opportunity to make our families feel like God’s most favorite children, let me leave you with this very well-known blessing in scripture, which is known as the Aaronic blessing (Numbers 6:24-26):

May the Lord bless you and keep you;
May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you;
May the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.

Go and do likewise. Go and give hope. Amen.

Rusty Hedges is an IoH volunteer. He originally shared this devotional with the Orlando Legacy Retreat® Team in March 2024.