Hope over Despair

scan0034Read: Lamentations 3:19-26 and Romans 15:13

“When facing an unknown future, hope is as reasonable as despair!” This is a truth that our world needs to hear. In fact, maybe we ourselves need to hear it today? Jesus Christ offers hope to us in all that we face, but unfortunately people so often choose despair over this hope.

This past week I was reading an article in the Purpose magazine when that particular quote jumped out at me. It was a story written by John E. Eby and he attributes the quote to a Guideposts quote that he once ran across. Though many rough times in their lives John says, “Hope became a sustaining reality.”

The book of Lamentations in the Bible was written by the prophet Jeremiah as he lamented over the fall of Jerusalem. But in the midst of his weeping and mourning (lamenting) he holds out words of hope like we find in Lamentations 3:19-26. If you have not read it yet please do, perhaps this one line alone will encourage you to do that. Verse 22 says, “Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed.”

When rough and tough things come along in our lives we are tempted to give in to despair. Even Jesus’ 12 disciples did that at times when they were faced with a stormy sea or thousands of people that need to be fed. But then Jesus opens their eyes to hope and shows them that hope is just as logical and possible as the despair that they are feeling.

That hope, he proclaims, comes through Him. Our God is full of hope, even enough to dispel the despair that you might be feeling right now. Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as your trust in him.”

Then it goes on to say that you can be a source of leading others to this hope as well. It says, “So that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Not only is the hope of Jesus for you, it is for all of those who will cross your path this week feeling like their despair has won.

I would even go as far as to reword the quote at the beginning to say, “Hope is MORE reasonable THAN despair!” Why? Because it is the only way to move past the hurt, anger, and whatever else you might be feeling in your situation. It boils down to this. When despair comes, Jesus is the answer to move you towards hope.

Make it personal: Pray to the Lord and ask him to help you make hope your default setting instead of despair. And then ask him to allow you to extend that hope to others you pass this week who made need it as well.

Have a hope-filled week everyone,
Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling and Community Life, Arthur Mennonite Church