Hope isn’t so easy. In fact, it’s one of the hardest things to wrap yourself around sometimes. There isn’t anything easy about staring straight into the face of despair and choosing hope.
In my opinion, real hope is about a God empowered confidence – a deep trust and belief in the power of His ability and His Word in your life. This definiton goes against the modern usage of the word “hope”, which is more often used to describe wishful thinking and crossing your fingers for something to go your way.
Hope is a heart thing, it goes far beyond just feeling and emotion. It requires choosing to believe in what you can’t see, instead of what you can see. A determination to fix your eyes on what is unseen, instead of what is seen (2 Corinthians 4:18).
This concept is so foreign and unnatural to us. It just doesn’t seem logical to be optimistic when everything says you should be pessimistic.
While it may seem strange to be confident when all evidence says you should be doubtful, the Bible paints a different picture. Scripture shows that God has produced hope through some of the most hopeless of situations.
And I can’t think of a more desperate and deppressing scene than the one that took place when Jesus was tortured and crucified. As Jesus prepared to offer Himself in sacrifice, he described to his disciples what would soon occur.
“From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”
What is interesting is that Jesus gave hope through the absolute hopelessness described in this verse. He explains that He must be killed, but He doesn’t leave it at that… He also pronounces that on the third day he will be raised to life.
Much like our own tendencies, Peter fixates on the hopelessness of the situation and not the hope. Peter is so focused on the tragedy that he is blinded to Jesus’ promise of new life after death.
“Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
That is one of the greatest attacks of the enemy. Satan wants you to become so consumed with the hopelessness of your circumstances that you will be distracted from the hope that is found in God’s promises.
I firmly believe that we have reason for hope regardless of our situation…
Where there is fear – Jesus provides power, love, and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
Where there is bitterness – Jesus provides forgiveness and mercy. (Colossians 3:12-13)
Where there is confusion and chaos – Jesus provides peace and order. (Phil 4:7)
Where there is weakness – Jesus provides strength. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Where this sickness – Jesus provides healing. (Psalm 103:2-4)
Where there is hopelessness – Jesus provides unbreakable, unshakeable hope. (Hebrews 6:19)
For those who know God, hopelessness is a lie. You have reason for hope, because God has given you everything you need in Him. He has planned good things for your future, not tragedy.
For every problem, there is a promise. Next time you encounter the temptation to lose hope and lose faith, choose to trust and believe in God’s promises instead of your problem.
Despite what your circumstances may tell you, our God is greater. Don’t give your awe to your problem; give it to God – He alone is worthy of it.