When we look at this world, at all that people are thinking, doing, and deciding we may often wonder, “Is there any hope?” When dealing with sin in our own lives or struggling with that of others we may ask, “Is there any possibility for change? In others or in me?” This is a question that Jeremiah confronted the people of Israel with in Jeremiah 13:23, arriving to the conclusion that hope or change like this coming from us is impossible. When it seems hopeless though, it is important that we remember the words of Jesus from Mark 10:27, “With man this is impossible but with God all things are possible.” With the Lord, there is hope!
There’s a certainty we can trust that is found in Christ. When we look to Him and His Word we see hope. Five specific means of hope that Scripture sheds light on are: One, there is hope in Christ. Paul teaches in 2 Cor. 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold new things have come.” In Christ, there is the certainty that He makes all things new – including us and one day, this world. Scripture also teaches us that there is hope when there is a genuine desire for change. In Ps. 21, we see that the Lord gives the king his desire and then answers his plea. God is able to work within the hardest of hearts to lead to desire the newness of life that is found in Christ and to seek the repentance that is needed for that. There is also hope when people are willing to work for it. Paul told Timothy to discipline himself for the purpose of godliness. Proverbs also says (14:23), “In all labor there is profit…”. Submitting to God’s Word also leads to hope because “the law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul” (Ps. 19:7). And finally, there is hope in perseverance. Paul encourages in Gal. 6:9, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.”
All of these things provide a basis for change and a firm ground of hope for us to stand on. These are also all things that we should pray for in ourselves and the lives of others. If we want to see hope then we will pray for the salvation that is found in Christ alone, the conviction of the Holy Spirit over sin, the willingness to obey that God provides, the sanctification He has promised, and for the endurance that is needed. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…” (1 Peter 1:3).
Holding Onto Hope, Pastor Rudy