Mark Twain once said, “Lord save us all from … a hope tree that has lost the faculty of putting out blossoms.” How true it is. Life loses its fragrance without hope and that can lead to depression. Faithful people down through time have struggled with it. King David wrote, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? … Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance” (Psalm 42:5). David had some really difficult trials in his life, just as we do at various times in our own. But here, in this place, he asks himself why he should be down and then reminds himself of anxiety’s antidote – hope in God.
Hope in God will lift us up and spiritually invigorate us just as it did David. “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:13-14). We know and believe that we will see God’s goodness in our present lives, too. Our Father provides our necessities: food, shelter, clothing, deliverance in danger, fellowship of the spirit and grace, the opportunity to overcome — just as he did for David. We truly have great blessings in the here and now through faith and hope!
There are future blessings on the horizon, too, just as there were for the father of the faithful. Paul wrote this concerning Abraham, “Who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform” (Romans 4:18-21). Abraham hoped when there were no visible, rational grounds for hope. Sarah’s womb and his own reproductive ability were dead at this point. But he hoped in the impossible simply because God had said what He had said. Abraham would be the father of many nations. Today, in the modern nations that have descended from him, his children number into the hundreds of millions. The hope that kept him looking to the horizon has been realized in the physical realm.
But there remains a spiritual hope for the spiritual descendants of Abraham – his legacy lives on today. “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:26–29). Our great hope is to become literal spirit-born sons and daughters of God who will be resurrected and revealed at Christ’s second coming. Receiving immortality within God’s family, having a mind completely governed by love and the opportunity to help bring billions of others to a life filled with faith and hope, that is what lies ahead for those who cling to and live for the hope that God is giving us now.
In the meantime, there is this, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).