Week 5 Hope 11 May 2020
If there's one of the three spiritual qualities that the world needs now, it is hope.
Faith, hope, and love are all intertwined in such a way that truly,
none could exist or grow without the assistance of the other two.
But in these challenging times so many of us are struggling with isolation,
which is bringing about depression, dejection or misery.
We live in a world in which despair is evident through acts of suicide, murder, apathy, etc.
"British clergyman G. Campbell Morgan told the story of a man who attended his church
whose shop had been burned in the great Chicago fire of 1871.
The man arrived at the ruins the next morning carrying a table.
He set up the table in the midst of the charred debris,
and above it placed a sign that said, 'Everything lost except wife, children and hope.
Business will be resumed as usual tomorrow morning.'
After such a heavy loss, where did he get his hope?
From his circumstances? Certainly not. From good timing? No.
How many others faced the future with such positive determination?
If this man saw a bright future for himself and his family,
it was because he knew what was really important in his life,
his wife and children, and he made a choice to rely on God and have hope.
"Hope is in the DNA of men and women who are in a relationship with God.
When times are tough, they choose hope, relying on God,
knowing that it will motivate them to learn and turn them from victims into victors."
There are many wonderful examples in the Bible that show that if we trust in God,
he will not let us down.
He may not answer our hopes and prayers in the way we expect or would like him to,
but he will provide what's best for us in the long term.
'But the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.' Psalm 147:11
"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
and whose hope is the LORD." Isa 17:7
And one of my favourites
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)
In Romans 5:3-5, Paul says that we can rejoice in our sufferings
because we are a people of hope;
"Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings,
knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character,
and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame,
because God's love has been poured into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us" (Rom. 5:3-5, ESV).
So, we can have hope when everything looks hopeless,
for God is with us. In the midst of suffering, we can take heart
because these challenges cause us to rely on God;
and the promise of God is that in that moment, he does what needs to be done.
He will not leave us alone; he will not forget we need Him.
Hope is a precious gift, given to us because Jesus lives.
Let us hang on to this thought in these strange and difficult times
and praise and thank God for his goodness.