A Devotional Thought by Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Church
In 1927, an American submarine collided with a Coast Guard vessel off the coast of Provincetown, Massachusetts, and began to sink. The Coast Guard and Navy sent divers to assess the damage and begin a rescue operation. As the divers got close to the submarine, they heard a sailor tapping on the hull in Morse code. He asked, "Is there hope?"
That's a fundamental question of life. It's asked every day by countless people in countless ways: You can survive 40 days without food, three days without water, and eight minutes without air. But you can't last a single second without hope. It's an essential part of life. When hope is gone, life is over.
People everywhere are looking for hope in all the wrong places. They look for it in their relationships, in self-help books, in religion, and in self-righteousness.
But there is only ONE place to find real hope. The Bible says real hope is found by turning to God: "May God, the source of hope, fill you with joy and peace through your faith in him. Then you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Romans 15:13 GW).
You need that kind of hope. And it's only available through a relationship with Jesus Christ. When you trust in him, the Holy Spirit works in you to fill you with hope that God is in control, he loves you, and he is working for your good. That kind of hope will lift you from despair and give you room to breathe.
Here are 7 reasons why you can have hope in a pandemic.
You have hope because you know…
1. The difficulties won’t last.
“Take the old prophets as your mentors. They put up with anything, went through everything, and never once quit, all the time honoring God.” JAMES 5:10 (MSG)
2. Getting irritated doesn’t help.
“Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage.” JAMES 1:19–20 (MSG)
3. Trusting God pleases him.
“And the scripture came true that said, ‘Abraham believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous.’ And so Abraham was called God’s friend.” JAMES 2:23 (GNT)
4. I will be rewarded.
“Happy are those who remain faithful under trials, because when they succeed in passing such a test, they will receive as their reward the life which God has promised to those who love him.” JAMES 1:12 (GNT)
5. God will use it for my good.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” JAMES 1:2–4 (NLT )
6. This is not the end of the story.
“What a gift life is to those who stay the course! You’ve heard, of course, of Job’s staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That’s because God cares, cares right down to the last detail.” JAMES 5:11 (MSG)
7. Jesus is coming back someday!
“Meanwhile, friends, wait patiently for the Master’s Arrival. You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work. Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong. The Master could arrive at any time.” JAMES 5:8 (MSG)