Given the recent events in our country and our world, the thing that has been so often coming to mind is the importance of hope.
The great evangelist, Billy Graham, once said:
“Our world today so desperately hungers for hope, yet uncounted people have almost given up. There is despair and hopelessness on every hand. Let us be faithful in proclaiming the hope that is in Jesus.”
Indeed, it seems that in times like these, we see despair and hopelessness on every hand. However, Scripture mentions hope over and over, often in the most unlikely of places.
One of the most profound examples of hope I have found in Scripture is in the book of Lamentations. This book was written to mourn and commemorate the destruction of the great city of Jerusalem. Its authorship is often attributed to the prophet Jeremiah who uses stark imagery to communicate the bleakness of the time.
However, amidst the suffering, we find a glimmer of hope.
Lamentations chapter 3 begins by describing the destruction and the desolation of the city. In verse 21, however, things take a significant turn:
“But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul,
‘therefore I will hope in him.’”
~ Lamentations 3:21–24, ESV
The author of Lamentations takes a moment to acknowledge the steadfast love of the Lord, his faithfulness, and his mercies, which are new every morning.
Hope is restored in our hearts when we recall the love, faithfulness, and mercy of the Lord.
Not only can we restore hope in our hearts by recalling these things, but we can also restore hope in the hearts of others.
“Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
~Romans 5:2–5, ESV (emphasis added).
Hope does not put us to shame.
Again, we find hope mentioned to believers in the book of 1 Peter, which says:
“but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect”
~ 1 Peter 3:5
This world is in desperate need of hope. You, as a follower of Jesus, have hope down on the inside of you.
I encourage you with this: recall God’s steadfast love and faithfulness, allow Him to restore hope in you. Then, be a bearer of that hope everywhere you go.