Joseph Bayly, in his book The View From A Hearse, tells of what he said to offer hope to a woman whose small son was dying.
“It’s good to know, isn’t it,” I spoke slowly, choosing my words with unusual care, “that even though the medical outlook is hopeless, we can have hope for our children in such a situation. We can be sure that after our child dies, he’ll be completely removed from sickness and suffering and everything like that, and be completely well and happy.”
“If I could only believe that,” the woman replied. “But I don’t. When he dies, I’ll just have to cover him up with dirt and forget I ever had him.”
“It is sad, but more often than not, this woman’s words express the hopeless plight of so many people all around us.”
Ironically, neither educational enlightenment, nor technological improvement, nor medical advancement has added to the furtherance of hope. Could it be that while we have, as a nation, progressed materially, scientifically and physically, we have regressed spiritually?
When a secular world view is embraced, then all that is hopeful is found only in the here and now. When that is crushed, then there can be nothing but discouragement, depression and despair. In a word, hopelessness.
The Bible teaches “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb. 11:1).
The word “substance” carries the idea of support. It literally means, “placing under, or place a thing under.” It is the foundation. The substructure. The base.
Our faith is not founded upon fables, fiction, or feelings. It is founded upon facts. The fact that God is. The fact the Jesus is the Son of God. The fact of His death, burial and resurrection. We have solid evidence in the accuracy of the Word and the promises of God.
Hope is not wishful thinking. Whistling in the dark. Or a wimpy way of thinking. It’s not some Pollyanna approach to life.
Hope is a confident outlook. A happy expectation. A favorable anticipation. Our hope is based on a solid faith that is rooted in the facts of the gospel.
If there is anything that is paramount in the teaching of the Bible, it’s that our God is “the God of hope” (Rom. 15:13). The Psalmist, David, asks, “Are you disquieted?” Then he answers “hope in God!” (Ps.42:5).
In the darkest of times, when the situation looked bleak, the God of hope came to the rescue!
Ask Abraham as he raised the knife to offer Isaac.
Ask Joseph while he languished in an Egyptian prison.
Ask Moses as he listened to the murmuring of Israel in the wilderness.
Ask Daniel when he became food for the hungry lions.
Ask Jonah while he prayed in the belly of the whale.
And then when the world under Roman rule sank into the depths of immorality, perversity and putridity and humanity looked hopeless, God sent His Son on a rescue mission to offer hope. His message was one of hope. His ministry expressed hope. And his miracles proved He was the answer to man’s hopeless condition.
And then came the greatest testimony of all. Just when it seemed all hope was lost when he died on the cross, God raised him from the dead. Peter, who witnessed the resurrection, put it this way.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.” (2 Pet 1:3-4)
Regardless of what you face in life. Physical illness. Emotional trauma. Spiritual temptation. Loss of love. Rejection of friends. Or even death. Nothing can separate you from the blessed hope we have in Jesus.
Hold on tight to your hope.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman