by Gerry Fry
Have you ever been through one of those dark nights of the soul, when you feel like everything is absolutely empty and hopeless? I remember one particular time in my life like that when I felt totally devastated and helpless. But when I turned to the Lord in earnest prayer, He revealed to me what I had let slip in my life. It was something that is absolutely vital to our walk with the Lord, and that is hope. The Lord began to give me revelation through Paul’s prayer in Romans 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may abound with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Many believers have either lost hope or do not recognize the dynamic of hope in their lives. Many live life without truly cultivating the reality of this gift from God. Because of disappointment, discouragement, hurts and wounds in our past, we lose our hope. Or we look to other things to give us hope. The result is a loss of the kind of contagious joy that the early disciples had when it says in Acts 13:52, “And (they) were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Without this hope, we begin to forfeit our peace and joy.
Why is this hope so important? Without hope, love has no way to express itself and faith has nothing to fasten upon. That is why Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:13, “Now abides faith, hope and love.” The word abides means to be “connected with, standing together.” Love is the greatest thing because God is love. This is the fountainhead of everything. But God is a God of hope, and out of His love expresses Himself by creating. And faith brings that creation into reality and actuality. Love is the basis of God’s redemptive work. Faith is the component that believes and acts upon the truth of God’s love. Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” But without hope, faith has nothing to act upon. As Hebrews 11:1 states, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hope is the confident certainty of what God has promised and provided.
Biblical hope is not “wishful thinking.” Instead, it is the ultimate faithfulness of God to do what He says He will do. Hope is the complete reliability that the promises and provision of God are true. When Paul says that God is a God of hope, he means that every word and promise of God is totally reliable and that He can never be unfaithful to His Word. So today let us lay hold of the hope that is the anchor of the soul — the hope that will never disappoint.