Hope in a hopeless time
There is always a crisis lying in wait for all of us. Life out there is not easy. Sometimes stress is pressing so hard you can hardly breathe. And I must confess, the rulers of this country do not paint a role-coloured of the future.
All these things make us really negative and I sometimes wonder whether any roses will be left for the future at all. Asking questions like that is a sign that our hope is starting to die. Our circumstances are blinding us and stealing our hope. As a result the situation becomes hope-less.
Paul gave the following advice: 23If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard … (King James Version)
Our hope is fickle, because we put our hope in the wrong things. We hope that the leaders of this country will sort out corruption. But we see they are the ones with their hands in the country’s tills. And hope flies out the door and we are left low and hope-less. We put our hope in our spouse. We put our hope in our friends and employer. Or our hope is in our salary cheque and an increase. And somewhere along the road each and every one of these disappoint us and away flies hope out the door again.
Do you want things to get better? Do you want to keep your head above water even in a crisis? Then you must be anchored firmly to something that is always stable and that will never disappoint you, the Gospel. Jesus’ Gospel of salvation.
What does this mean to me in practice? I think Anna’s story will be a lesson to all of us of holding onto the Gospel and never allowing our hope to be stolen.
I think of my own life, my “story”. We don’t always understand why we end up in the “pits of hell”, there where you sometimes literally call out: “My God, why did You leave me?”
But still, by grace, I hang onto God’s Word, literally holding onto my Bible as if holding onto a person, times when I had no words, was dismayed, when my “brothers and sisters” in Jesus “judged” my situation.
And you don’t understand, too discouraged, too hurt, disappointed…
And then, suddenly, the Holy Spirit reminds you of our SAVIOUR Jesus Christ, who on the cross had to walk that road for each of us who had ever called out the words: “My God, why did You leave me!”
And in your own “calling out and asking questions”, when you feel you cannot go on, GRACE finds you every day. You feel the strength of God our Father, his unconditional love. His hope breaks through, He is your Shelter, even though you sometimes feel it is only you, but then I realize He is here with me, He refreshes me, He is the beginning of my faith and in GRACE I can cling to GOD who will NEVER LEAVE me, who gives me STRENGTH, who gives me PEACE to “keep going”, even when nothing makes sense…
She stands strong in faith. She does not allow her circumstances (however bad they may be) to leave her hope-less. No, it is that clinging onto hope, that holding onto the Gospel and God’s promises that keeps her going, moving forward.
And that is exactly what you and I have to do.
How bad is your trouble?
Where is your faith?
How much hope do you have left?
Jesus, You give us hope in times of despair. You are the hope we’re holding on to when times are tough. In life, hope is a safe and solid anchor. Amen.