‘And this hope does not disappoint us.’Romans 5:5 NLT
When I think of hope, a picture comes to mind. Every day we see airplanes in the sky and watch them as they fly behind or into clouds, and we are confident that they will emerge and land safely at their destination. That is our hope that all will come to a successful conclusion.
This is how it is with our relationship with the Lord. Although we cannot see Him, we know that He is there working for us in our great times, as well as in the times of valley and wilderness experiences. As it says in the Letter to the Hebrews,
‘Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see’.Hebrews 11:1
The children of Israel were in the same situation as us. Believing the Lord’s covenant promise to Abraham, and encouraged by the prophets, they lived in hope for the promised Messiah who would be their Saviour and Redeemer. And of course, proved faithful.
He is the same with us. The Lord deeply loves us and is faithful to His promise, giving us his Holy Spirit to be with us and guide us, and filling our hearts with His love. He delights in those who fear Him and put their hope in His unfailing love.
The Scriptures are full of promises for those who put their hope in the Lord. ‘Christ in us the hope of glory’ (Colossians 1:27) We know where we are heading, and the best is yet to come.
Reflections: “Hope does not disappoint”
‘Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will even fly on wings like eagles.’Isaiah 40:31
This to me says, that I can rise above whatever situation I am in, because He will strengthen and enable me when I am weak. A good example of this is, after two months in UK visiting family, I developed a serious sinus and chest infection. I presumed that since it was four weeks until the South Island Ladies Retreat, I would be well enough to attend and present the talk on Sunday morning. However, that was not to be, and though I was too unwell to physically attend the retreat, the Lord gave me the strength and ability to rise above this and present my talk via Zoom. He gave me the grace to do His will and I can continue to ‘rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation and be steadfast in prayer’ (Romans 12:12).
‘For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.Jeremiah 29:11
This certainly makes life worth living for me despite all the setbacks and arrows the enemy may aim at me. One of the best examples of someone who suffered at the enemy’s hand was Job, yet He still put his hope in the Lord. He said, “I know that my Redeemer lives and that He shall stand on the last day”. He did not curse God but put his hope in his Redeemer whom he would meet at the end of his life.
The wonderful season of Advent is a time of preparation and so full of hope. Before the birth of any child there is the anticipation and excitement for the birth of the baby. It is more so for us who celebrate the birth of our Saviour, Emmanuel, God with us. Amidst the busyness may we be able to reflect and make time for Jesus allowing Him to be born anew in us.
‘And may the God of all hope fill you completely with joy and peace as you trust in Him. So that you will overflow with confident hope through the power of His Holy Spirit.’Romans 15:13 NLT