Psalm 147:11 “The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.”
One of the greatest factors in sustaining joy in this life is hope. Without hope, we see only what is within our sphere of reality. Without hope, the world becomes a cruel place. Without hope people lose their drive, their motivation and ultimately, their reason to live.
Having a reverential awe for the God of Heaven brings Him pleasure. Having hope in the promises afforded me as a child of God brings such calm assurance, such peace and joy that I cannot help but desire to do any and all that my God would ask of me.
Knowing my eternal destiny is settled, I can look toward whatever may happen today as temporary; as a vapor that will soon vanish away. Some place such significance in this life, that their spirit and attitude rise and fall with every bump in the road. Some of those roads have such highs and lows that it seems like a rollercoaster ride.
Without hope, that ride could strike terror into the heart of those whose trust in the strength of their hands; the intellect of their mind or their position in life. We say we trust God, but live with depression, fear and dread. These things ought not be so for the child of God.
We justify our place with situation and circumstance thinking we are different from others; that our situation merits special treatment. So much so, that the only ‘hope’ we have of surviving this life is with what an ‘expert’ may prescribe. For the Christian, there is only ONE expert.
In this day and age, we see extreme situations of abuse, neglect, and violence that we wonder if there is any cure at all. At the root of all these is sin. The cure for sin is the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. I have seen lives wrecked and ruined by such devastating circumstances only to see God’s hand come upon them and transform them into trophies of His grace.
As God is no respecter of persons, I can claim that same healing; that same work to be done in me and for me. All will face adversity of some kind. Consider this:
1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
The ‘temptation’ here is the same as trial, or testing. God promises that you and I will not be tempted, tested or tried above anything that we cannot handle – because He IS faithful. If God has chosen or allowed a trial for you, He would not have given it had He not first thought that you, with His strength, with His power could conquer whatever it is you are facing.
The key to hope is faith. Without faith, I cannot see beyond this life. Without faith, I cannot see how God could ever solve my situation and circumstance. Without faith, I could never see the mighty hand of God move for me, answer prayer or have a testimony of deliverance.
Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Faith is sometimes stopped by a sense of entitlement – God owes me. Truly, the only thing you and I deserve from God is the extreme judgement upon our sin – death in hell forever. By His wonderful mercy and grace, we can have deliverance through the free gift of salvation.
Faith is sometimes hindered by false expectation. We read in His WOrd of a promise that God will do a thing for us. We fail to read thoroughly just what it is He said He would do.
James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Some will read that if we resist the devil, he will flee and totally leave off the ‘submit’ part. Without our submission, even the devil is not obligated to obey the Word of God – if we won’t, why should he?
But by the fulfilling of what God asks of us, faith must take over to believe that He WILL do what He said He will do.
Our enemy, the devil, will oppress us and pressure us to slowly drain us of our hope. Unless faith kicks in to trust God for healing and forgiveness, we become a casualty to something God may have designed to show Himself real to us and to those around us.
Lastly, the blessed hope of Heaven can be the golden thread that binds our heart to God for a lasting faith that His love will conquer any and all that we will face in this life… even death.