2001-02-26 - Hope
Lamentations 3:18-20 So I say, 'My strength has perished, and so has my hope from the Lord.' Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me.
In Omaha, Nebraska police had a recent experience with a jumper. This particular jumper was threatening to do the deed by leaping from an overpass into traffic. While police tried to talk him down a hacker managed to break onto the police radio frequency and broadcast the Van Halen song JUMP for three and a half minutes. As officers were negotiating all of the police radios suddenly blared, "… might as well jump… go ahead jump!" Police chief Don Carey was not amused. He called the broadcast, "inappropriate." Police say someone who found a lost or stolen police radio might have transmitted the song. The jumper was eventually talked down safely.
It is sad when someone loses hope. The Christian's hope is often a hope that looks to the future. Paul reminds us of this in 1 Corinthians 15:12-19. He concludes the passage in verse 19 by saying, "If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied." In other words, if the hope of a Christian is baseless and not true, then we of all people are to be pitied.
David in Psalm 39:7, puts his hope in God. "And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in Thee." We should also firmly place our hope in God. In fact, hope is one of the most significant things that separates Christians and unbelievers. Christians have hope. The non-Christian has nothing to hope for. Ephesians 2:12 describes the state of the unbeliever as, "… having no hope and without God in the world." 1 Thessalonians 4:13 is another verse where we see this is true, "But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope."
However, it is true that Christians do sometimes forget that they have a great hope in Christ or lose sight of their hope in Christ. As the above verse from Lamentations, that we started with, shows us. Jeremiah had clearly lost hope in God. But then the progression is that he prays to God and asks Him to remember his struggles. Then Jeremiah does what we all need to do when we lose hope. He bows down, in his soul, and the implication is that he places his trust in God even though he is on the verge of despair. Hebrews 6:19, 20 reminds us what Jeremiah must have know to be true. "This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us..."
So wherever we are in our current frame of mind, we are still to be people of hope. Even Jeremiah, who was at a really low point in his life, still, in the end, concluded that he would place his hope in God. Such is the example left for us in Scripture and though it may not always be easy, we still must follow his example, and trust our Lord and His promises to us in the Bible.
"A true hope has a tendency to prompt him who has it to purify himself, and watch and strive more earnestly against all impurity." Jonathan Edwards
Soli Deo Gloria,