Is There Hope?

dilapidated house

Is There Hope?

Why are you in despair, my soul?
Why are you disturbed within me?
Hope in God!
For I shall still praise Him

for the saving help of His presence.
Psalm 42:5

It is so easy to look at the world around us and to feel despair and to lose hope. Things look bleak and days look dark. Yet throughout Scripture we are encouraged to have hope – hope in God.

Ezekiel's Hope

In Ezekiel 37, God shows Ezekiel a vision of a valley filled with old, dry bones and asks Ezekiel if the bones can live. In wisdom, Ezekiel responds, “O Lord God, You know.” Ezekiel understood that God sees things the way they truly are, while we are limited in our vision and understanding. God sees a future when we see despair.

In the natural, Israel saw themselves as the dry bones. Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost. We are completely cut off'...”

God gave Ezekiel the words to prophesy and the bones in the vision were restored with flesh, and then with the breath of life. The explanation was that the bones represented the nation of Israel and that God would bring them out of hopelessness and fulfill His promises to bring them back into their land in peace.

There is more to discover in this prophesy, but today we will focus on God's promises to those who feel hopeless as Israel did.

Job's Hope

Remember Job? The man who lost everything? He had a lot to say about hope, even during his darkest days. Have you ever felt “cut down” by people or circumstances? Job points to an example we see in nature that demonstrates God's ability to restore and bring life.

For there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, that the tender branch of it will not cease. Though its root grows old in the earth, and its stock dies in the ground, yet through the scent of water it will bud, and sprout boughs like a plant.”
Job 14:7-9

At the time Job shared this analogy, he didn't know that God would bring healing, restoration, and abundance to him in the future. He was only clinging to the evidence of how God works miraculously.

David's Hope

David made a bold proclamation in Psalm 119:114: You are my hiding place and my shield. I hope in your word.” What is this word that David hoped in? He trusted God to keep His covenant promises. We know this because, in the previous verse, David contrasted God's promises with those of double-minded men. He was able to have hope because He knew that God has always fulfilled what He has said and He will not change.

Our Hope

What is this promise of hope based upon? As foretold in the Old Testament and revealed in the New Testament, Jesus is our living hope.

Behold, my servant whom I have chosen; my beloved in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my Spirit on him. He will proclaim justice to the nations....In his name, the nations will hope.”
Matthew 12:15, 21

We can find throughout the Bible examples of God making promises and keeping promises. Because of God's proven character, we can hold to hope and thrive even in the most difficult circumstances, just as Paul demonstrated.

We rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only this, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope: and hope doesn’t disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were yet weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
Romans 5:2-6

Supernatural Hope

This is supernatural hope! This hope comes from the power of the Holy Spirit whom God has given to us. The reward of this hope is eternal life, promised by God who has shown Himself true and faithful:

in hope of eternal life,
which God, who can’t lie,
promised before time began;
Titus 1:2

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul,
a hope both sure and steadfast...
Hebrews 6:19

I pray this prayer of Paul's for you today:

Now may the God of hope
fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
that you may abound in hope,
in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13