How a remarkable communicator conveys a key element to a life of faith and promise.
Some people, such as great athletes or musicians, astound us with their performances. Some excel in business, amassing great fortunes. Others pour their energies into parenting, teaching, politics or science.
For decades, Dutch Sheets has specialized in hope.
A prolific Christian author, he has written 23 books, many of them translated into more than 30 languages. His international bestseller, “Intercessory Prayer,” has sold more than one million copies. Dutch has pastored, taught in seminaries and served on ministry boards. His passion is spreading hope and kindling revival.
A Grandma’s Remarkable Outreach
In his book, “The Power of Hope,” he shares the uplifting story of “Grandma Gause,” paraphrased here.
During a family reunion in 1965 in Florida, Mrs. Gause woke everyone at 2 a.m., asking them to get empty Coke bottles, corks and paper.
She wrote Bible verses on the papers while her grandchildren bottled and corked them. When they were done, they dropped more than 200 bottles into the surf at Cocoa Beach. For years, people thanked her for the Scriptures and how they affected their lives. In 1974, Mrs. Gause died, a month before the last letter arrived.
It was from a farm wife in Ohio who had endured tremendous tragedy, including losing her husband, having to care for 11 children with no breadwinner and facing bankruptcy. She was preparing to drown herself in a river. “When I broke the ice, a Coke bottle floated up,” she wrote. “I opened it, and with trembling hands, I read about hope.”
The bottle contained several verses, including Ecclesiastes 9:4:
“But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.”
The note also had three other verses:
“for the law made nothing [a]perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.”
“that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.”
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born [a]again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’”
“I came home and read my Bible and now I’m thanking God for the message,” she wrote. “We’re going to make it now. Please pray for us, but we’re all right.”
The sheer improbability of this is stunning, as Dutch notes in his book:
“How did this life-saving Coke bottle make a nine-year journey all the way from Cocoa Beach, Florida, to a river in Ohio? Not just any river, mind you, but the right river, the right farm, at the right time….Three of the four verses were about hope. The bottles didn’t contain verses regarding power, miracles, or even provision, all of which this lady desperately needed. Why? Because those things are produced after we hope….Hope is to the heart what seeds are to the earth. Without hope, life is sterile, unfruitful. …If there is no hope for the future, there will be no faith to face it – let alone build it.”
Throughout “The Power of Hope,” Dutch shares story after story of people who were at the end of their rope until they discovered God-given hope.
Much of the text seems aimed at people battling depression, for which hope is the cure.
The Bible contains many instances of what Dutch identifies as “hope deferred.” That’s when something seems intractably hopeless – and for a long time in some cases.
He cites Moses, having fled Egypt into the desert, waiting 40 years before the Lord uses him in a mighty way. Likewise, David was an outcast for years, hiding in a cave from King Saul. It was during those desperate years that David wrote some of his most powerful psalms that resonate today and let the broken hearted know that they are not alone.
The path to restoration is to draw near to God, Dutch writes, through “simple praise and worship. “
“I realize this may sound simplistic, but don’t underestimate its power. True worship is so much more powerful than the average person realizes. I actually believe that any person’s life could be radically and forever changed by extreme doses of praise and worship. They are the antidote for depression.”
Based in South Carolina, Dutch reaches people around the world with his message of hope through his books, speaking, podcasts and blog posts at www.http://dutchsheets.org.
He concludes “The Power of Hope” this way:
“A life filled with hope is your destiny and inheritance as one of God’s kids. Don’t settle for anything less. Expect your heart to get well. Expect the clouds of doubt to yield to the dawn of hope. Expect a new beginning in your life. Expect to enjoy life again. Expect to win.
A writer for Timothy Partners, Ltd. He is a regular weekly columnist for The Washington Times and Townhall.com and is frequently published by AmericanThinker.com, DailyCaller.com, OneNewsNow.com, and others. He has authored the following books: “A Strong Constitution: What Would America Look Like If We Followed the Law” (D. James Kennedy Ministries, 2018), Invested with Purpose: The Birth of the Biblically-Responsible Investment Movement, and A Nation Worth Fighting For: 10 Steps to Restore Freedom.
- Timothy_Plan_Dutch-Sheets-and-the-Power-of-Hope: Grace Combs Photography / Dutch Sheets