We all need hope. In good times, the future seems bright for a while as worries retreat into the background. But, when trials and troubles come, our optimistic outlook may fade. Even the routine activities of everyday living can sometimes dull our outlook of a positive future. So, often, we find ourselves searching for hope that things will turn out all right.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the hope we seek was readily available? All of the time?
But, on an average day, there is rarely a lack of things to feel anxious about: money issues, illness, family problems, job concerns …; the list goes on and on. Too often, uncertainty creeps into our minds, and sometimes we begin to feel helpless and hopeless.
I still remember the night times. In the darkness of early morning, I would wake to a feeling of dread. The next few hours would be clouded by fear and shame, with questions tossing in my head: “Why is this happening? How can we turn things around? What is going to happen to us?” I would pray over and over for answers and help that didn’t seem to come. Eventually, I would wearily drag myself out of bed to face another day. Once into the morning, I would feel better for a while. At least I was doing something; maybe things weren’t so hopeless after all. But, too soon, the night would come again. (Excerpt from STEPS: A Daily Journey to a Better Life)
During that period in my life, all seemed dark. But beyond the darkness, there was hope; it just took me a while to find it. The whole time, God was still there, even in the dark.
Hope is a feeling that something good will happen. We can’t conjure up hope on our own. It is something we find, or are given, and true hope must be founded in something real.
“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” (Psalm 130:5)
And beyond hope there is something even stronger: faith. Faith is more than just a positive feeling; it is complete trust in something, or in some one.
“We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.” (Psalm 33:20-22)
Our search for hope can guide us along a wonderful, life-changing journey, and faith can become assurance, a state of being certain about something. How does that happen? If we investigate the claims of the Christian faith, we discover an incredible thing: it is founded upon historical fact, events that actually happened, and a person who literally existed.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
We find that the most wonderful hope of all was actually born two thousand years ago.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
May you find assurance from the one true source of hope during these holidays.
Has there been a time in your life when you were searching for hope?
Action: This Christmas, enjoy the wonderful assurance that your faith in Jesus Christ is justified, and take pleasure in the hope that inspires.