Daily Devotion for Thursday, March 19
Five-year-old Mary is the proud new owner of a tiny bunny rabbit. Mary named her new friend "Hope." She loves telling anyone who will listen about all the neat things Hope does.
Hope eats out of Mary's hand and sleeps in a little bed right next to Mary's. Hope twitches her nose when you put a carrot in front of her, and she scratches her ear with her foot. But best of all according to Mary, "Hope hops!"
This is something I learned a long time ago. Hope really does hop. It moves from place to place, showing up just when we need it most. You can't keep hope down. Just when you think it is gone, it pops up out of nowhere as a wonderful surprise.
We read in Romans 15:13: So I pray that God, who gives you hope, will keep you happy and full of peace.
I think it is interesting that this verse combines the words hope, happy, and peace - all in one thought. To me this means that without hope you can forget being happy and you might as well drop the idea of peace. The presence of hope opens the doors to happiness and peace.
Isaiah 41:113 tells us: I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, who says to you, "Do not fear, I will help you." Now that's something to hang our hopes on!
I'm not saying that we should look at life through rose-colored glasses -running around like a Pollyanna or with our heads buried in the sand instead of dealing with real life.
Psalm 31:24 gives us this assurance: "Be strong and take courage, all you who put your hope in the Lord!" Our hope is anchored in God. In fact, our hope IS God himself.
The old hymn states it beautifully:
MY HOPE IS BUILT ON NOTHING LESS THAN JESUS' BLOOD AND RIGHTEOUSNESS. I DARE NOT TRUST THE SWEETEST FRAME, BUT WHOLLY LEAN ON JESUS' NAME. ON CHRIST THE SOLID ROCK I STAND, ALL OTHER GROUND IS SINKING SAND.
Hope is with us as we deal with this current situation we find ourselves in. Hope isn't something that happened only in the Bible, nor is it something that only shows up at weird times if we keep all the rules and behave ourselves. Hope is ours for the taking every single minute of every day. It's the assurance that things will eventually make sense when right now there's no sense to make of them.
And hope is alive in the church - even though we are not physically together.
We pray for rescue from whatever threatens us. We pray that suffering will be eased, that challenges will be overcome, that lives will be spared. Hope is the unbreakable spiritual lifeline that will hold us securely through every earthly danger. In every difficulty we have hope in God's promises.
Don't abandon hope! Hope is irrepressible. But unless that hope is founded on Christ, it's just wishful thinking. No matter what happens today, or tomorrow, or next year, hope is alive. It's full of surprises. It's a bunny rabbit, just waiting to hop on the scene and bring you a brighter day.
So, let us praise God every day for the hope He has given us - hope that has been with us through our past, hope that is with us in the present, hope that will be with us in all our tomorrows, and the glorious hope for an eternity with Him.
Let us pray: Dear God, may we always remember that you are our refuge. Because our hope is in you, we know that we are held in Your arms forever. Amen.