PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Since I was a little girl, the idea of a message in a bottle has intrigued me.
You can look at it from so many perspectives.
The castaway casting his hope of rescue into the sea…
The young woman, separated from her beloved and hopeful that somehow and someway, her message will reach him…
A long lost sailor who hopes for reconciliation…
Or simply a ten-year-old girl who hopes to send a bit of herself out there to be discovered.
That last one may or may not be, but probably—and actually is—me.
I may be off on the age, but I have tossed a message in a bottle into the ocean.
No matter what the message in the bottle is, it always boils down to two things: hope and a yearning for someone to see our hearts.
Thankfully, we don’t need an ocean or a glass bottle for that to happen.
We can have hope because of Jesus (1 Peter 1:3), and He knows our hearts.
In John 2:23-25 CSB, it says, “While he was in Jerusalem during the Passover Festival, many believed in his name when they saw the signs he was doing. Jesus, however, would not entrust himself to them, since he knew them all and because he did not need anyone to testify about man; for he himself knew what was in man.”
Now before we get discouraged by this passage, hear me out.
I chose this verse for a reason.
Let’s focus on the last part of verse 25–“for he himself knew what was in man.”
Jesus knows us.
The very trust He withheld was because He read their hearts.
They believed because of signs and miracles.
But as Jesus would later tell Thomas, “Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe” (John 20:29 CSB).
But we can have hope.
Jesus also read the heart of the woman at the well (John 4:1-42) and the result of that is summed up in verse 29 CSB, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?”
Jesus then told the disciples in verse 35b of the same translation, “Open your eyes and look at the fields, because they are ready for harvest.”
The woman at the well had hope and Jesus saw her heart.
Let’s go to another example…
Matthew 19:16-24 tells the story of a rich young man who came to Jesus to ask how he could go to heaven.
Jesus answered, “‘If you want to be perfect,’ Jesus said to him, ‘go, sell your belongings and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me’” (Matthew 19:21 CSB).
Jesus didn’t tell the man to sell everything because He expects Christians to live in poverty, but because He saw in this young man’s heart that he had a love for his things and money.
Though Jesus saw this man’s heart, the man had a different reaction to the Truth than the woman at the well.
Consequently, the man walked away without hope.
A third example happened at Calvary.
Two thieves hanging on crosses beside Jesus.
While one mocked, the other said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23:42 CSB).
Even as He died for our sins, Jesus saw the man’s heart and offered hope by saying, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43 CSB).
Jesus sees what’s inside of each of us.
The opportunity for hope boils down to our reaction.
Will we be like the woman at the well or the thief on the cross and be filled with hope?
Or will we walk away dejected like the rich young man?
Jesus will entrust Himself to those who believe.
So we never need to wonder if someone will discover us and offer hope.
The One and only Someone already has.
Today, as you pray, thank God for hope.
Thank Him that His promises are good and worthy of our hope and trust.
Thank Jesus for seeing your heart.
Ask the Holy Spirit to remind you that you are seen and have every reason to hope because of Jesus.