May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.Romans 15:13 ESV
Ponder the Stats
- Deaths of despair from suicide, alcohol-related liver disease, and drug overdose claim the lives of 160,000 Americans annually. (Psychology Today)
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns of an accelerating mental health crisis among adolescents. More than 4 in 10 teens report that they feel “persistently sad or hopeless,” and 1 in 5 say they have contemplated suicide. (Washington Post)
- The U.S. ranks lowest in life expectancy at birth among countries with high GDP per capita. (Health System Tracker)
- Life expectancy in the US fell three years in a row BEFORE the pandemic and continues to fall. (CDC, CNN)
The statistics are not pretty. People are generally more anxious, experience more depression, and are lonelier than ever! David French wrote in his essay for April 24, “Our social fabric is fraying. The social compact is crumbling. Our government is imperfect … ”
Marvel at Job
If it were not for the Spirit of God working in our hearts, filling us with peace and joy, we would lose hope. Those of us who know God should, of all people, be overflowing, abounding in hope!
Though he slay me, I will hope in him–Job 13:15a ESV
Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven,Job 16:19 ESV
and he who testifies for me is on high.
For I know that my Redeemer lives,Job 19:25 ESV
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
Our hope is not “Pollyanna” foolishness. Instead, it is complete confidence that our God is sovereign. That He has been and continues to work out His plan of redemption. Job is a prime example of hope amid calamity. Job expressed confidence that one day he would be vindicated and that he would not turn his back on God in the meantime! This is fascinating. Job is one of the earliest books of the Bible. Job had not seen the miracles of the Exodus, the salvation in the wilderness, nor the conquering of the Promised Land. Yet, he was devout, living a blameless and upright life, fearing God. And his faith was sure, abounding in hope!
Experience the POWER of the Spirit
How much richer our experience – because we live on the finished side of the cross, the resurrection, and the ascension. We have the Word of God, the written revelation of our hope! And in our salvation, we have the down payment, the deposit of the Spirit of God living in us. Through the power of the Spirit, we can overflow with hope!
We, on the other hand, continue to live through the Spirit’s power and wait confidently in the hope that things will be put right through faith.Galatians 5:5 VOICE
Apply truth to life, abounding in hope
1) Even in difficult circumstances, remember the source and object of your hope: Why am I so overwrought, Why am I so disturbed? Why can’t I just hope in God? Despite all my emotions, I will believe and praise the One who saves me, my God. Psalm 42:19 VOICE
2) Read, study, and meditate on the promises of God to renew your hope: You are my refuge and my shield, and your promises are my only source of hope. Psalm 118:114 TLB
3) Confess sin, and walk in a manner worthy of the Lord: But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. 1 John 3:2b-3 NIV
4) Talk about your hope: Sanctify the Messiah as Lord in your hearts, and always be ready to make a reply to anyone who asks you to explain the hope that is in you. 1 Peter 3:15 NTE
5) Hold tight onto your hope: So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Hebrews 10:23 MSG
Father, would you give us a vision of your purpose in this world and a great assurance of your love and power? May we hold fast to the hope we have in God, even abounding in hope, through the completed work of Christ and in the power of the Spirit. Amen.