A Command to Hope

Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances which we know to be desperate.—G.K. Chesterton

Among my circle of friends, there has been a lot of doom and gloom since Obama was re-elected. Many are girding up for more difficult times and wondering what God has planned for this country in the near future. When the results came in, I told Chris I believe one of two things are going to happen: 1) It’s the precursor to End Times or 2) God is going to do such a work in our president that believers and non-believers alike will know that it’s God’s grace in our midst. Of course, this is based on nothing substantial—only my hope.

Last Sunday, the worship leader of our church shared his frustration with all the Facebook conversations focused on the election. It’s not so much that people are “discussing” the election, but that they’re lamenting over the impending demise of this country. “Our God is bigger than Obama,” he said, and I wanted to shout, “Yes!” It’s so easy to get caught up in the mob mentality, especially when that mentality is coming from much more mature Christians than myself. Instead, I need to rest in God’s sovereignty and know that He has it all under control. We don’t have to like what He has planned, but we do have to trust in it.

Chris and I read the one-year devotional Walk With God by Tie Green several mornings a week. When I read aloud the passage for November 13th, I knew it wasn’t coincidence. The scripture for that day was Romans 12:12—“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” This is what God commands of us, yet at a time when we should all be joining forces to seek solutions, many Christians (at least those in my realm) are throwing up their hands and saying, “Oh well. I guess this is it!”

That may be fine for some. Personally, as much as I long for eternity, I’m not quite ready to leave this earthly life. But more than that, I was deeply moved by a conversation I had with my 24-year-old son the other day. This is a young man who hasn’t always been filled with optimism, and much of his opinion comes from extensive research, so much so, he’s become somewhat cynical and jaded. Yet he asked me, “Do you think there’s hope, Mom?” I’ll have to say, Christopher is by far more informed than I am about the issues this country faces—he has the intellectual capacity to understand the political ramifications far better than I. And as much as he may love me, he’s well aware of this fact. Yet, he was looking for an assurance from me—something deeper than his intellectual knowledge. He was looking for the divine hope of a God he’s not sure he even believes in.

And if he, with his intelligence and cynical outlook, is looking for hope, how many others out there are doing the same?

Our hope comes from a God who is all-powerful, omniscient and sovereign. But beyond that, He is a God of love, mercy and grace. Maybe He’s waiting to see how His children are going to respond in these turbulent times. Will we throw our hands up in defeat or will we take this as a challenge and stand strong?

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

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