There are many things we hope for. Before I was married, I hoped that I would get married. Before I became a youth pastor, I hoped that I would be able to be a youth pastor. When I was in high school, I hoped I would make the starting team. Now that I’m a little older I hope to become a good father. I hope to become a better teacher. I one day hope to write and publish a full length book. These are some things I hope to do.
This type of hope is a little bit different than hope in a crazy situation, but I think the principle is the same. I hope to become an author, so there is a glimmer of drive and desire to keep pursuing that hope and start writing. Just like in a crazy situation that seems hopeless and full of despair, when hope comes in it is like a spotlight on a dark night and we gravitate toward the hope. We run toward the hope because it is something we can cling to and something that keeps us going. When we have no hope, we pursue hope with reckless abandon when it shows up.
A crazy situation happened in the Bible where a mother and child were feeling completely alone, helpless, and hopeless, but then God, the hope of the world, the light in the darkness, shows up:
“And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, ‘What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast in your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.’ Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink” – Genesis 21:17-19
This is a story of hope. Hagar and her son, Ishmael, were at a loss. Hagar had given up and was ready to die. So she laid down her son and went a little ways from him because she couldn’t bear to watch him die. The boy had been crying, so had his mother, and God heard them and offered hope.
God does the same thing for us. He hears our cries. He sees our struggles. He even sent Jesus Christ to earth to share in our temptations and struggles. The Bible says this about Jesus (who is our High Priest), “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).
God offers hope. The only really hope is Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:27), who is the light of the world (John 8:12).
Where is your hope? What have you put your hope in? We can put our hope in things other than Jesus, but that hope eventually passes away. The timeless, endless, eternal hope is found in one place: a faith relationship with Jesus Christ. If you haven’t, you should give that hope a try. You won’t regret it.