Have you ever had to wait for something so badly that you never got that thing? How did it feel? Or have you ever in your life put all your trust, faith and hope in something or someone that eventually disappointed you? In this short reflection, I am going to talk about hope. All of us here have something to hope for. It means our hearts can at some time get impatient. But the point is when we desire something that is delaying, it puts our hearts at risk to give in to disappointments. In times like this, hearts begin to faint. We begin to sense defeat. Too much waiting naturally makes us impatient. The Good Book says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick…” (Prov. 13: 12). Whenever something is not working according to plan, it’s painful.
The story of Abraham and Sara teaches us how to wait. “Abraham and Sarah had to wait—25 years, to be precise (Gen. 12:4; 21:5). Waiting did not always come easy. In fact, Ishmael’s birth, 11 years after God’s initial promise… [seems to have occurred outside God’s plan for the couple]. Abraham and Sarah waited and waited, and continued to settle in the land that God had promised to give them” (Review and Heralds, Week of Prayer 2015). Other things happened to Abraham whiles waiting on the Lord. He went on to battle to rescue Lot and his family. Abraham suffered famine and had to relocate to Egypt. He committed serious mistakes whiles waiting for the promise. In all these adverse difficulties, Abraham continued to hope in the Lord.
As children of God, we are like Abraham put on this journey hope. Titus 2: 13, “Looking for [waiting in anticipation] that blessed HOPE, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.”
Christ coming is a blessed hope. The Greek word for blessing is makarios which means “happiness”. The day Jesus will come, we shall all be happy. Our Lord Jesus will come with the joy of heaven to fill our souls. It will be a turnaround for all our problems. There will be no more typhoons. We shall see our beloved dead. We’ll sing the joy of the Lord because Jesus has come. I’m reminded by this childhood song:
I will wear a crown in my Father’s house,
In my Father’s house, in my Father’s house.
I will wear a crown in my Father’s house.
There’ll be joy, joy, joy!
My dear brothers and sisters, there will be an inexpressible joy the day Jesus will come, and this is the blessed hope of all times. Heb. 6: 19-20:
We have this HOPE as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
Hope sustains our faith, it helps us to stand firm, and to be fearless of life difficulties. This hope is found in Christ Jesus, the shepherd and anchor of our souls.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
Hope is a virtue that makes faith a powerful human attitude. “Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all… it is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be a strength.” (G.K. Chesterton, Signs of the Times, April 1993, p. 6). Friends when everything else seems meaningless, hope should be the only meaningful thing for your life.
How then shall we hope? How long can we hope? Revelation 14: 12:
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
- The practice of the virtue of patience: Impatience can lead to sin. “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Rom. 12: 12).
- Be an example of godliness: The saints are faithful commandment keepers. They live to please God not themselves. Fear sin, and rejoice in keeping God’s commandments.
- Keep the Christ-centered faith: Let Jesus be your friend. Walk with Him, talk with him, sing about Him, be joyful for His grace and love for your life. In that spirit, translate that love towards others, even those who may not deserve it.
Hope never ends our story, rather, it begins our story.