What exactly is “hope”?  Let’s first take a look at what hope is not.  Hope is not wishful thinking, as one mystically blows out the candles on a birthday cake.  Hope cannot be conjured up by the power of positive thinking.  Hope is not the result of religious practice.  If these examples were representative of hope, then there would be no sustainable value to be had.

If you and I live long enough, we will undoubtedly get a taste of suffering in one form or another and the foundation of our hope tested.  Job knew the pain of every kind of suffering.  A true lover of God, by all appearances he had a lovely life.  Then, in one day, he lost everything.  His livestock and worldly goods, all destroyed.  And finally, Job received word that because of unusually high winds, every one of his children perished when the house they were in collapsed.  How does one go on with news like this?  But, it gets worse!  Eventually, Job is “afflicted with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head.”  Job 2:7, NIV.  But he concludes, that everything belongs to God, and all hope rests squarely in His hands.

I seriously doubt anyone reading this writing can identify with Job on the same level of human loss.  However, not one of us is exempt from pain and suffering.  Perhaps you or someone you love is facing a health challenge.  Maybe you have received news that puts the stability of your future in jeopardy.  Do you think there is no hope for your situation?  You may be right if you’re looking for a human solution.  The Bible gives us the definition of hope that is real and tangible; not reliant on human effort or the result of creature comforts hope rather is rooted in the abundant life provided by Jesus Christ.

Eugene Peterson wrote in his book, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, “All the water in all the oceans cannot sink a ship unless it gets inside.  Nor can all the trouble in the world harm us unless it gets within us.”

When Jesus is the Keeper of our soul and the Author of our hope, nothing has the power to overtake us.

Sherry Sharp