Today I’m talking about the idea of keeping hope alive.
Have you ever had a feeling of hopelessness? It is something that happens when you are feeling completely overwhelmed by the world. Maybe it’s because you have bill and bill piling up and your income doesn’t match; or maybe it’s because your boss keeps piling on the work and you can’t keep up. It could be that you’ve come down with an illness and everyone is acting like it is the end of the world – you’re depressed, you’re anxious and you’re about to give up. It is at those times that you HAVE to keep your hope and faith alive.
So what does it mean to have hope? Is it just wishful thinking, a wanting of something that probably will not happen; or does it have an actual place in our reality? The most common definitions of hope include concepts such as “To trust in, wait for, look for, or desire something or someone; or to expect something beneficial in the future.”
As a Christian, I have willingly placed my hope for the future in the hands of Jesus. I have placed my trust in Him, I look for His help, I desire for Him to show me the best way to handle things and because of that, I fully expect that I will be able to handle any situation that arises.
This hope does not spring out of thin air; in fact, it there because of my faith. In Hebrews Chapter 11 verse 1 we read “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” In this case, the words ‘hoped for’ are often translated ‘expected’; and I have the inner assurance that I will realize my hopes for the future. I also know that should those plans not come to fruition then God wanted me to go a different path.
That’s all well and good, and for me, that’s enough, but what about those who aren’t convinced. Those who feel as if the world is dumping on them and maybe, they’ve lost a little bit of their faith.
So the questions I want to answer today are:
Where does hope come from? Why should I place my hope in God? How can I keep hoping when God never seems to act? What can I do when things seem hopeless?
Where does hope come from? Psalm 39:7 – “And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.” The belief that everything comes from God goes back thousands of years. Well before Christianity was established. We believe that most of the book of Psalms was written between 1010 and 930 BC, during the time of David and Solomon. Some Jewish historians believe that the oldest Psalm, 90 was written about 1500 BC. The reality is we don’t know for a fact when they were written. What we do know is that they are prayers of hope and in many cases joy. The Jewish people maintained their hope and faith in God for centuries. But why would they do that? Why should I place my hope in God? Hebrews 6:18-19, “so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to hold firmly to the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and reliable and one which enters within the veil,”
Now if you know anything at all about Biblical history and the history of the Jewish people, you have to wonder how they were able to maintain their belief in God. How for centuries they could maintain their faith that God did in fact care for them? It’s a question many people ask today, especially in the face of so much suffering in the world. When so many people are struggling to simply survive. When He never seems to want to be involved. We ask how can I keep hoping when God never seems to act? Romans 8:24-25, “For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, through perseverance we wait eagerly for it.”
Perseverance is all well and good, but it can be tough just waiting. Especially now days when so many of us are used to having things done quickly. We want instant gratification, why cook a dinner in the oven for an hour when you can pop something into the microwave and have it in a few minutes. Or even better, grab something from a fast food joint and get it now, or even have it delivered. Sometimes though the best action is no action, but instead some quiet reflection and even prayer. This is especially true when life seems to be spinning out of control and we can’t find a way out of it. What can I do when things seem hopeless? In the books of Acts Paul and Simon have been arrested for telling folks about Jesus. They’re in a dungeon, and things look bleaker than bleak. In Acts 16:24-25, “and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. Now about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them”
Think about this for a minute, you’re sitting in a cell minding your own business, maybe you’re a thief or something and then these two guys come in and start praying and carrying on. You’re a little annoyed, but what the heck, to each in own, and then in verse 26, it continues, “and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains were unfastened.” Now if you’re in one of those cells, you’re most likely going to want to walk out right? Well, turns out the jailer had been asleep, so the commotion woke him up and he freaked out. He just knew that everyone had split so he was ready to kill himself, but Paul told him to chill out that they were all still there. So you’d think that Paul and Simon’s hope had been to be able to escape, but no, instead the jailer took them out, became a believer and Paul went on to do great things in spreading the Gospel. You see, we knew that we have a promise from God. That promise is, He’s always going to be there for us. He might not answer us in the way we think is best, but I can guarantee that if we keep our faith, maintain our hope, then He will show us a path. We read in Psalm 29:11, “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Never give up, keep believing, and when you are feeling hopeless, I urge you to turn to Jesus and ask for help; ask Him how you should live and if you need to make changes, make them. Fill your inner needs with the joy of knowing Jesus and not temporary external stuff of the world. Try this simple little prayer.
Dear Lord Jesus, as I start on my life’s journey today, I remain full of hope and belief that you will be with me to guide me on that journey. I know that no matter how I feel, or what I face that if I remain steadfast in my faith then the hope for a better future remains alive. Thank you for giving me hope for that future. Amen
That’s it for today, so until next time, remember as long as you have breath in your body; you have hope in your life. Never despair, never give up, there is always an answer and I hope and pray that you turn to Jesus to find it. Please tell your friends about this show, I appreciate it and if you get a chance subscribe to my YouTube Channel. I’m going to be putting more videos up and remember each of us is called to live a true Christian life. See you later, God bless y’all and peace.
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