‘Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.’ Psalm 43:5 (NIV)
Hope is such an important word, a big word. It’s a word that encompasses our emotions. It portrays a state of being within each of us, that can be either encouraged or dashed to pieces. Yes, hope is indeed a very important word. The presence or absence of hope can be either the beginning or the end of our personal stories.
God was hope from the very beginning. He gave it in the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve chose to listen to the serpent. How, you say, did He do that, when we know He banished them from the Garden forever? Because He told them what they were facing, how hard their lives would be. He actually told them they would be cursed. But…He made garments for them, before He set them out. He also obviously did not abandon them, for when Eve gave birth to Cain, she said that she had given birth to a man, with the help of the LORD. So, they still had hope as they followed the LORD even outside the gates of Eden.
We see hope mentioned all through scripture. Job said that even if God slew him, he would put his hope in Him. (Job 13:15). All through Isaiah and much of the Old Testament are mentions of Messiah being the hope of the Jewish people. Proverbs 13:12 tells us that hope deferred will make the heart sick. And in Colossians 1:27 we are told that the mystery God has chosen to make known to us is Christ, the hope of glory.
Every story, every event, spoken of in the Bible shows hope. When God’s people went to war, the hope of the LORD was spoken of. This should certainly reveal to us the importance of this word, of hope. But there is the opposite side of the spectrum we must also look at. And that is the absence of hope.
The thief who hung next to Jesus on a cross, he was one without hope. He mocked our Lord, and he died without Him. The other thief, however, did have hope, and since he believed in Jesus, he went to Heaven that very day, and was with Him.
Today, we have people who have addictions, who feel hopelessly trapped. We have people who have been abandoned by family and friends, for various reasons. And there are many others who have lost everything, or who consider themselves as failures. All of these people have faced loss, and now have no hope. Being hopeless is a terrible thing, and it will pull a person down to a level where they despise themselves. Often hopelessness ends in a tragedy because of this. But there is hope. And its name is Jesus.
Christians know that Jesus is Our Hope. He shed His own blood to save us from the state of hopelessness. He fills our souls with the hope of today, tomorrow, each day to come. He gives us purpose, and He gives us unfailing love. Yes, He is Our Hope, and He wants to be the hope of all who have none. Know Him. Love Him. Share Him. Our Hope…such an important Word!
‘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.’ Romans 15:13 (NIV)