The Power of Hope
This past Sunday one of our children read a passage of Scripture while the contemporary worship band was playing. It was a really cool moment. I love when we have children and youth leading us in worshiping the Lord. Still, it wasn’t just a cool moment, it was a powerful moment and a powerful passage which is still is playing over and over in my mind. She read Isaiah 40:27-31 reach says,
“Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my right is disregarded by my God”?
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
30 Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
31 but those who hope in the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.”
There are lots of things in this passage which is comforting and encouraging, but this time I came away with a different thought that never occurred to me before. Hope. Perhaps it’s because for the last few weeks our sermons have focused on “Hope is on the way.” In any case, I don’t think I realized how hope is a powerful weapon. Hope can get us through any dark time. Hope gives us a foundation on which to stand.
Hope is an important pillar for life and for our faith. There are so many scriptures which talk about the power of hope. Everyone loves to quote Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” It’s a meaningful verse, but I think understanding the context deepens the meaning. The Israelites were being exiled to Babylon. These words were penned in a moment that felt like there was no hope. Everything they had known, the communities in which they lived were all destroyed. The world as they knew it came to a screeching halt. Many were killed, others captured… and yet God speaks of hope?
This passage reminds us that God is in control. Things may be difficult and even seem unbearable, but God has a plan for you, and not just an ordinary plan – a plan to prosper you, to give a hope and a future.
There are more passages of hope like it. Romans 15:13 which says, “May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” God is a God of hope and he gives hope through the Holy Spirit so that we might see and experience him no matter the circumstances of life.
Hope fills our life with meaning. Hope enables us to see the bigger picture. Hope enables us to trust in God. As Paul writes in his second letter to the Corinthians, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
May your hearts be filled with hope.