Sunday, September 13, 2015

Finding Hope in Hopelessness

Hope is an emotion that we all experience at some point or another in our lives. We hope for little things that are truly insignificant. We also hope for big things that could really change our lives. Often times we get disappointed because what we had hoped for didn’t happen. However, it wasn’t the act of hoping that upset us, it’s the fact that we didn’t get what we had hoped for. God is not only epitome of hopefulness; He is faithful to those of us who hope in Him.

Rahab is one of the most famous women of the Bible and she absolutely fascinates me. Her predicament was literally hopeless. She knew that something terrible was about to happen to her city. This was probably the only place she had ever lived. Yet she found a reason to hope. She chose to believe in the God that was not her own to find that hope. This hope found her a place in Hebrews chapter eleven among many true faithful of the Bible.

Rahab lived in Jericho. She was a sinful woman, living in a sinful city. In our human eyes, she was probably one of the worst sinners of her time. However, in God’s eyes we are all sinners and not one worst than another. That is why He came to earth as a man to die for the sins of us all. Rahab must have known this and that is where she found her hope.

The people of Jericho had heard stories of the Israelites. They had defeated all the cities they had come to with the help of their God. Next thing they knew was that their hometown, Jericho was in the path of the Israelites. They knew they were about to be destroyed and were afraid. They had no hope.  Knowing you are about to physically die can be hopelessness, and it was hopeless for most of the people of Jericho. 

Except of course for Rahab. She found faith in a God she had only heard rumors about. She found faith in the two spies she had just met and helped to hide on her roof.  Because of her actions, she found faith in the one true and living God. She found hope.
She found spiritual hope, which nothing can take away or replace. She found hope not only for the present, but also for her future.

But what about us? What happens when we are lost in the despair of hopelessness? We, like the people of Jericho, may see no way out. Do we turn to the God of heaven who created us and loves us or do we look within ourselves? Rahab only had rumors and stories of this God and she believed with her whole heart. Today we have His Word right in front of us where we can read first hand about the wonders of His grace and mercy, His strength and power. Why do we always have to turn away and look for hope elsewhere?

No matter what the circumstances of our lives, we can put all of our faith and trust in God. When we are going through difficult times, we can have hope. “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint” Isaiah 40:31. We can’t always see where God is working and what He is doing for us. Sometimes we just have to trust Him. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an excepted end” Jeremiah 29:11. Even when things are going well in life, we can still have a hope because of our future. “For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off” Proverbs 23:18. Even if we know that physical death is imminent, we can have the hope of knowing where we will spend eternity. If we already have that hope, we can share it with others. We all need hope in our lives, but that hope should not focus on the things of this world, but on God Himself, the true giver of hope.

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