Because of the tragic and unpredictable situations of our world today, we all need to arm ourselves with hope. Is hope armour? Yes, it is. It is a confident expectation and armour of defence against the tough global insecurity, unemployment, inflation, divorce, suicide, depression, wars, stress, hunger, etc., that is fast ravaging our nations today. We are reminded that suicide among youths has risen astronomically even in Africa where, despite the poverty, many are resilient and optimistic of the future.
To live without hope is to cease to live,’ wrote Fyodor Dostoevsky. ‘
Emil Brunner says, “What oxygen is to the lungs, such is hope to the meaning of life”
John Piper wrote, “Hope is the most practical power in the world. It overcomes discouragement and depression and irritablity and anxiety and suicide. It gives new life to old jobs and old marriages and old friendships and old churches. It opens the future and invites vision and dreams and planning and prayer. It conquers lust and greed and vain ambition, because these are just short term substitutes for people who have lost hope in something really great and beautiful and satisfying in their lives.”
Nicky Gumbel writes, “Faith means trusting in ‘the God of hope’. Paul prays, ‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow [‘bubbling over’, AMP] with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit’ (15:13).
The origin of hope is ‘the God of hope’. The reason for hope is Jesus. The source of hope in you is the Holy Spirit. This hope is not wishful thinking. It is rooted in what God has done for us and is doing for us.
This hope is the driving force for our day-to-day living. As Erwin McManus comments, hope ‘lifts us out of the rubble of our failures, our pain and our fear to rise above what at one point seemed insurmountable. Our ability to endure, to persevere, to overcome is fuelled by this one seemingly innocuous ingredient called hope.’
The hope for the whole world is in Jesus. He is the hope for Israel. He is also the hope for the rest of us. Paul quotes several passages in the Old Testament to prove this, culminating with the words of Isaiah prophesying that Jesus would be ‘Tall enough for everyone everywhere to see and take hope!’ (v.12, MSG).”
May God, the giver of hope, flood our lives with the Spirit of hope. May all those whose hope has been shattered by the challenges of life receive the hope that God alone can give.