Having Hope In Difficult Times

Featuring Branon Dempsey Posted on February 11, 2009

I was astonished. Last night, my best friend’s father passed away. After years of health battles with a deteriorating heart, he went to be with the Lord. I met grandpa Lain a few years ago. A sweet man with a soft voice and gentle sparkle in his eyes. You easily knew what he treasured. The simple things, faith, hope and love. When we got word last night, I quickly called my best friend to extend our sympathy and prayers. As always, my best friend was solid, secure and at peace. I have seen my him go through many other challenges before and I am always surprised by his resolve. He is always calm.  Most often, when you offer words of comfort, he begins to comfort you. I can see how his father’s life made such an impact. You can see the hope through his father’s eyes. Hope is an amazing reality. But what is hope? Is hope an expectation that guides us through the fog? Is it something that falls from the sky to bring relief? Is hope really a tangible thing? When I looked up the word hope, I found something different:

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” Rom 5:1-3.

“While we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” - Titus 2:13

This hope, is not what the world can provide. Hope is defined by the reality, life and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The kind of peace I saw in the eyes of grandpa Lain was the hope of Christ. As Titus says, Christ is our blessed hope. Not found in things, solutions or people. These all have their purpose and position in this earthly life, but they do not guarantee our eternal frame. How do we extend this kind of hope to others? Being filled with this kind of hope flows from Christ. This kind of hope is attractive and fulfilling. Hope is like a water well, overflowing and cannot be contained. This is parallel to the love that Christ offers in those who are thirsty. It is a curious blessing to receive an encouraging word from friends and especially from strangers. Christ, our hope, is our guarantee of sanctity and eternal life. We move from faith to faith and from strength to strength, believing in the power of the resurrection and return. He is our living hope. While we remain on earth, may each day be spent abiding in the hope and peace of Christ. Spend a moment today sharing this kind of hope to the people around you. This can be done through words or by actions alone. What a surprise it will be when our Hope appears.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” - 1 Pet. 1:3

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