On the other end of a phone a worried mother begins to share her concerns for her son. “My son has lost his way. He is a good son but right now he is at a very low point in his life. He has gotten himself involved with drugs and alcohol, lost his job, and allowed his physical health to deteriorate. I am not sure where he is staying. Will you reach out and try to make contact with him?”…
A young married couple has been trying to start a family for quite some time. After several failed attempts, they learn that the wife is finally pregnant. This young couple is rejoicing as they eagerly anticipate the arrival of their son. However; one day they go in for a standard checkup and the doctor shares with them a concern and suggests they go see a specialist. A few weeks later they discover that the child has several severe physical deformities and are told the baby has a slim to none chance for survival…
A husband/father receives an email from his wife stating that she doesn’t love him anymore and wants a divorce…A man who at one time had a blossoming career gets laid off and is having a terrible time finding enough work to support his family…
A family member has a two year old little girl who is battling cancer…
The above statements are real; real people; facing real problems. People just like you and me. They are mothers who are looking for peace and comfort while finding themselves in the midst of a storm. They are father’s who are in deep despair; trying to figure out how to provide for their families; physically, spiritually and/or emotionally. Family members who are asking everyone they know to pray for their loved ones.
My male mind automatically wants to try and “fix it”; after all that is how we are programmed. Most females choose to sit down and weep, while they embrace those who are hurting. What can be done?
One thing that everyone needs is hope. Hope allows people in distress to hang on and continue to press forward. Hope allows parents to maintain the mental fortitude when they see their children suffer. Hope allows individuals who cannot see the light of the tunnel to find some level of peace in the darkness around them.
Romans 15:13 states that as children of God we should abound in hope. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Everywhere we turn people need something to believe in. Christians need to be demonstrators of hope and faith throughout their daily lives; but especially when things look bleak.
It is important to understand that hope is a blessing we have through our relationship with the Father. Pslam 39:7 states, “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.” Paul writes in Ephesians 2:12 “. . . remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.”
For Christians hope is a future certainty grounded in a present reality. The present reality is the faithfulness of God. God’s faithfulness is marked out by major landmarks (promises he has kept) in his involvement with his people, an involvement he won’t renounce on behalf of a people he won’t abandon.
If you are reading this and wondering, “How do we get/increase our hope?” I have a few things for you to consider. We get hope by:
Take God at His Word – Romans 10:17 states, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” When we spend time in God’s Word, reading about the historical accounts of God working through the lives of His people, it will give us a great sense of hope, strength, and peace for our lives. Romans 15:4 echo’s this decree, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
Be Patient and Believe – This point is beautifully illustrated in Hebrews 6:11-20 which reads, “And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise. For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
In Christ Alone – Peter states in 1 Peter 1:3 – “Praised (honored, blessed) be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)! By His boundless mercy we have been born again to an ever-living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Because of the sacrificial life of Jesus, we now have hope of an eternal glory with the saints in Heaven.
A few years ago the hymn “In Christ Alone” was composed. It swept the contemporary Christian charts like a wildfire. Here are the lyrics to that wonderful hymn.
In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand
In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless Babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live, I live
There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ
No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From a life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand
Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand
Here are some of my favorite quotes over the subject of hope. I pray they will serve as a source of encouragement for you.
Hope is some extraordinary spiritual grace that God gives us to control our fears, not to oust them. ~Vincent McNabb
Once you choose hope, anything’s possible. ~Christopher Reeve
When the world says, “Give up,”
Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.”
May we never lose hope in times of deep despair but always look to His Word, His Son, and Believe. May God bless you richly.