Hope Through the Dark
This past week we learned of two famous people who committed suicide. According to an article published in The New York Times, “Suicide in the United States has surged to the highest levels in nearly 30 years, a federal data analysis has found, with increases in every age group except older adults. The rise was particularly steep for women. It was also substantial among middle-aged Americans, sending a signal of deep anguish from a group whose suicide rates had been stable or falling since the 1950s.”
I feel that there is very little hope today… any kind of hope. There is so much confusion and distraction. The terrors that fill the world, through media, is in our living rooms day after day. So, today hope is what we are going to look at for a change. What is hope? How do you get it? How you can KEEP it!
Romans 15:3 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” See hope as the world knows it and hope believers have, are two different things. Hope in the world is a “maybe.” Hope in Christ is a “definitely.” How can that be?
Well, let’s think about the father of our faith, Abraham, formerly known as Abram. “The LORD had said to Abram, "Go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land I will show you.’ Gen 12:1 Abram did what God said. He believed and trusted God enough to pick up his family and leave. He didn’t even know where he was going! But he went anyway. That, my friend, is trust! The scriptures say, “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Rom 4:18 So we learn from Abram, that biblical hope isn’t the world’s hope; it’s trust! That is what true hope is!
Someone at church used the illustration of a chair to describe the “hope” or trust we must have in God. When we sit in a chair, we don’t try it out first to see if it is going to work. We just sit in it because we know it’s a chair and it is made to hold us. We don’t “hope” the chair will hold us, but we have hope (or trust,) that it will.
The first time any of us sat in a chair we were probably too young to remember. We probably wobbled a round a little bit. Our mothers likely kept a close eye on us as we sat, but it wasn’t that the chair couldn’t be trusted. It was our ability to properly sit on it! The same is true of trusting God. The more you do it, the easier and more natural it becomes. Its not God who is unable, it is us humans. Sometimes we need help learning to trust God. Read your bible. Go to church or even a bible study. It is so important to surround yourself with godly people in your community. This is how you get hope.
Lastly, God’s word tells us how to KEEP hope.” Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Rom 12:12 We can be joyful because we have hope! As we grow we learn to be patient in affliction, and always, always be faithful in prayer. Because of Jesus we have such a relationship with God that we can call Him, “Abba.” That’s like calling Him “Daddy” There is no burden too small or too big, that we can’t take to Him in prayer. You don’t have to hope, maybe He’ll hear you. He hears you! You have hope in Him! Trust God with your heart today!