“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29: 11-13 (NIV)
The word hope today is used in so many different ways such as ‘I hope this exam is not too hard’, ‘I hope that my football team wins on Saturday’, ‘I hope I don’t embarrass myself tonight at the dinner part’, ‘I hope my Mum doesn’t find out it was me that spilled the tomato sauce on the carpet.’ Yes, most of us use the essence of the word hope in these sentences at least once a day and never think anything about it, but that is not the hope that God speaks about.
To people who have no place to sleep each night or are hungry and cold, those in countries torn apart by war, the many lonely people marginalized because of illness or situations not of their making, to so many, this world must appear to be a world without hope.
What do we, as Christians, have to offer them in the way of hope? We need to read again and again the verses of scripture that we have been given, in order to keep seeking this Awesome God who gives us the inner strength and the words and deeds to offer to those who are without hope. If we truly believe that God is in every situation and works alongside us, then we focus our hope on God and we can help those who are in need of a glimmer of light.
Verses like these: 1 Peter 1:3 ” Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you“.
2 Thessalonians 2:16 “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word“.
Giver of life, focus our eyes on the promises which you give us so that we may bring hope to those who despair. Amen.