(By Michelle Snippe)
"Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord" (Psalm 31:24).
Hope is a small word, and yet it’s a powerful one, isn’t it? Hope is to life what oxygen is to breathing. Where there is hope, there is life. And when hope dies, life itself can feel as if it’s beginning to ebb away.
Centuries before Christ, a Greek philosopher named Thales said, "The most universal thing is hope, for hope stays with those who have nothing else."
Why is hope so powerful? It’s because hope gives the human soul the capacity to live in the surety that all of God’s promises are true.
Hope is so much more than an emotion or feeling. While there may be times when we can claim we “feel hopeful,” I think hope is more than that. I wonder if, for the Christian, true hope is more of a discipline. A determination to believe in God’s reality and power, even when the waves of life seem to be crashing down around us. Hope fastens us to God as an anchor holds a ship in angry waters. Isn’t that the brilliance of hope? It can fly in the face of affliction and adversity and shout, “The enemy and the world can do its worst to me. But still, I will hope in God.”
I love David’s words in Psalm 42:5, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Saviour and my God.”
Obviously, hope is so powerful that it can turn our downcast and disturbed soul into one of praise. That is the kind of hope that is key to surviving any challenge or crisis. Hope that God loves us. Hope that He is, right now, working out a solution for us. Hope that the future we place in His hands will be far better than the present we are holding in our own.
Not a doubtful hope. Not a questionable hope. But a sure hope that comes from above and is an anchor for the soul.
This is the hope we must live, the discipline we must practice. The enemy wants so desperately to destroy our hope because he knows how defeated we can live void of it. But we want that powerful hope that leads to praise! And if we don’t feel as if we have the strength to praise, remember where it comes from. Isaiah assures us that with our hope set on the Lord, He will give strength.
Dear friends, the Lord is on our side. He is for us. And He desires that we put our hope in Him.
“Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31).