Has fear and hopelessness overwhelmed you? Has Covid shaken your sense of security? In Christ we can know that Hope is not lost!
2020 brought in the era of Covid-19. People began to worry and fear for their future. Questions swirled around. Will I die from this? Will my loved ones die? Will my job close down? How will my family and I make it? Hope began to wane, and fear began to grow. 2021 didn't offer much better promises. Hope seemed to be at an all-time low. All I saw on tv and social media was negative doom and gloom and people accusing each other. Then I began to wonder, where is hope? Where is that assurance that God is bigger than what is before us? The answer to that question was precisely where hope always had been, in Christ. Christ had not moved from his position; we moved from ours. Our focus shifted from the one who brings peace to the one who incites fear.
I want to share this scripture with you.
Romans 15:13 ESV.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may
overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
In the time we live in right now, many people are in despair. They struggle, have no joy in their lives, and feel like life isn't worth living. Suicide is at an all-time high right now, and even in the church, I hear this tone of despair, like God is not in control. I don't know what God you are serving, but even though everything looks pretty bleak, God hasn't left us, and hope has not died, left, or ended. It is here with us. We can lose sight of hope because we get surrounded by our circumstances, whether in our personal life, country, state, families, jobs, or children. Whatever it is, those circumstances can cloud our vision and keep us from truly seeing the whole picture, and I believe we need to be reminded that hope is not lost. We have the greatest hope ever been had before, Jesus Christ. In Israel's darkest time, God always had hope alive in the midst of them, and when the Israelites would turn their faith back to God, they would realize that their hope had been there the whole time. I want to read another scripture before I go a little more into it.
Romans 5: 1-6 ESV
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him, we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 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.6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
There IS Hope Within You!
There is hope within us. Many times we do not tap into that hope. Some days you are just getting one bad news after another, and your whole day is ruined. But there is always hope; God always has a way of restoring things back into place and order. The problem is, we get lost in all of that. We allow that to drag us in the wrong direction instead of putting our foot down and saying, "You know what?" I am not going to let this affect me in this way. This didn't catch God by surprise. This doctor's report did not surprise my God, so God obviously has a plan. He will sustain me and teach me something through this journey, but I hope to bring me through. I have the hope he is going to give me the strength and joy I need. If I don't get any of those things, I can still rejoice in the fact that I get to be with the Lord. There is always hope in every situation. If anyone had a reason to give up and die, it was Job. His wife actually told him to curse God and die, but he had hope within him. It may have been a small hope in the beginning, but as you hear him talk and begin to pray, "I believe that my lord lives!" The faith and hope built up in him, and he started to believe in the God that had given him everything he had lost. Since he kept his hope in God, the Lord brought him through on the other side and restored everything and then some back into his life. In the beginning, when Adam and Eve fell, they were given hope, even being cast out of the garden God gave them hope. "One will come and bruise the head on the serpent." When the world was utterly lost in hope and chaos, God raised up a man named Noah, and he put that ark in that family's life as an ark of safety and hope. A place where that family knew that they would not be lost with the others. They had hope that God was going to restore the earth again. He renewed that hope when they opened the door and saw the rainbow.
The beautiful rainbow was God's promise that there was hope for our world. When it was over, the animals and people left the ark. They began to repopulate the earth, and there was hope once again. When God let Joseph get sold into slavery, Israelites were starving, and God put Joseph in Egypt for a reason. Joseph was a hope to the people of Israel. They were able to have food because of Joseph. Then Israel got sold into slavery, it was pretty dark for 400 years, but God gave them hope that one would come and free them from slavery, and God brought hope in the form of Moses, and the Israelites were freed.
A Promise Of Hope
Throughout the Bible, God consistently gave them a promise of hope. Israelites would turn away, but God's hope never left. The promise of hope was always there. All the way up to when before Christ was born, it seemed like, "Will the Messiah ever come?" God brought the living hope into the world. Hope itself in the form of a body, so we could see him and his acts and experience who he is. His person and know that God's hope is always true and faithful. When Christ left, he didn't go and have us feeling like hope left us then. He said I will send you another, and he will stay with you until I return. He sent the Holy Spirit; he is our hope here on this earth, to keep us moving forward and to know that the truth of God's word is hope, and we can be sustained and held through every single situation that comes our way. Whether the world that we live in, the country, the state, our home, jobs, our churches, the hope of the Holy Spirit is there. Referring back to
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him, we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance
We are facing a lot of tribulations in our country, in our world, and in our lives. All the time, every day, and if we allow those tribulations to rule our emotions and to rule our decisions, we will never get to experience that hope that God has for us. Know that this tribulation will work within me to build up patience, and this patience will help me, and that hope will not leave me ashamed. God is bigger than my circumstances, and I've seen him work in so many miraculous ways in my life. I know that God is going got take care of it.
and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 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.
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
God gave us the Holy Spirit before we even knew we needed him, and Christ died before we knew we needed him. We have the hope of both the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ. Isn't that amazing? That God Loves us that much. He prepared the way so far in advance for everything that would come our way. He is not surprised because he knows it's coming.
Be Encouraged Hope Is Still Alive
At the beginning; when Adam fell, God knew, "This is going to cause problems for all my children" He started preparing the way so that they would all have hope. You can read it all through the scriptures, where God gave them hope. Bringing them out of bondage, bringing them out of captivity, sending a deliverer, sending a Savior, sending the Holy Spirit. He has not stopped that hope is still alive within us today. I recently put out a new CD entitled "Hope Is Rising." When you see the album cover, Hope is Rising, know that out of the ashes of your pain and situation, hope is rising up within it. God will come out, and you will shine like pure gold. You are going to be a witness to those around you that even in the midst of pain, heartache, and hopelessness, hope will still rise. God will get the glory. We are all Jobs, some of us might not be dealing with it as much as Job did, but we will still have the same outcome. We will shine like pure gold. So I want you to be encouraged and know that God is with you. Christ and the Holy Spirit are with you, and he will not leave you hopeless. So put your hope in God.