But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. – Jeremiah 17:7
What is hope? Some people characterize it as never giving up. Others see it as a motivation to endure hard times knowing that something better is ahead. It can be both of these things and more when the source of your hope is God.
Hope and faith are inextricably linked. In the book of Hebrews, Paul says that when we hope for what we cannot see, that is faith. In the book of Jeremiah, God told the Israelites that His plan was not to harm them but to see that they had a future and that it was filled with hope.
To get a better view of what it means to hope when the going gets rough, let’s look at Job. Remember him? He was the upright and just man living in the land of Uz. One day, Satan asked God for Job. Satan believed that someone so just was only that because he had never known a hard day in his life. If he did, he would not be so ready to live such a godly life.
Therefore, God allowed Satan to tempt Job. Some may call this cruel or say that it exhibits how God really sees us – pawns in a game. Neither of these things is true.
Let’s face it. Life is hard. And, many of the hardships are not due to God’s hand. People have free will and often their expression of their “rights” may infringe on yours. But, God is nothing if not faithful to those who love Him. He will rescue us from all our troubles, if not help us to avoid some of them.
Now back to Job. He knew God but when he lost his entire family in a freak accident, he was deeply saddened. He also lost all that he owned. You see, Job was wealthy. That is another sticking point that diminishes us. We may lose some things but as long as we have our money, we still feel a measure of security, however false.
Job tore his clothing (as was the custom) and rubbed ashes all over him. When his health was threatened, his friends saw a chance to jump in and give Job the benefit if their advice to stop all the nonsense.
It is not uncommon to feel sad when things go wrong or when it seems that the weight of the world is crushing in on us. Becoming emotional has nothing to do with faith or hope. It is a response to what has happened. We may even wallow in self-pity (though hopefully not in the dirt and ash) as Job also did.
Job’s friends, as no doubt our friends would do, gave him advice. They went from trying to comfort him to blaming and condemning him as an unrepentant sinner. For a time, he agreed with his friends and wondered if God had left him.
But, Job reached a point where instead of looking at the present circumstances, he began to remember the past and God’s faithfulness. Those memories began to give him strength and an unnatural hope that all would be well eventually because of what he already know about his God.
In all situations God is our hope. We come to realize that when we turn the corner in our sadness and pity and remember who God really is. He is the Supreme Creator, the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star and the Almighty God. That will never change no matter what comes our way. We can count on God to come to our rescue when the time is right.
by Robert Moment