THE POWER OF HOPE
The Lord is good to those who hope in him, to those who seek him.
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.
According to the apostle Paul, three things will continue forever: faith, hope, and love. Paul makes it clear that the greatest of these is love, and I'm sure we all can agree on that. But what about the other two?
We know faith is crucial. Without faith it is impossible to please God or to hang on when life is tough. We know that doubt can creep in so easily, and the only answer is to remember that Jesus is worth it all.
But what about hope? In trying to be sure we have faith and love, do we sometimes fail to concentrate enough on hope? Without hope, life is a sorry game, played without enthusiasm or joy.
Brothers and Sisters, hope is not just a positive mental attitude. We may have hope without always being positive. There is absolutely no way to conquer despair with happy thoughts alone. Hope has real strength, but it does not have strength of its own. The real power of hope comes from the One it hopes in. No matter what happens, we can have life, because the loving, merciful God of the universe is good and He is looking after us. So if we exercise our hope every day, we will win!
If we do this, we can smile - a lot! Living with real hope is like discovering a savings account that was started for us before we were born. Hope frees us to laugh more and make jokes about things - even in difficult times, like this pandemic we are going through right now. And, brothers and sisters, we often miss this - Hope also allows us to cry our eyes out when we need to.
No one who goes through life with their hope in the Lord ever loses the last round. No matter how bad you think it is right now, today is only one chapter, not the complete book of your life. No adverse circumstances can claim your spirit.
Be sure that when the battle that is raging right now is over, your life will still be with and in the One in whom you have put your hope.
Let us pray: Dear God, as we march through this time of fear and isolation, help us to know - beyond a shadow of a doubt - that you are marching right there alongside us, and that you will see us through into a bright new day. Amen.