With all the hopelessness floating around, many people have tried to fill the emptiness with empty hope. They say things like;
We got this
You can handle it
Hang in there
Keep on keeping on
Now I’m not criticizing their motives or intentions. Some people are genuinely looking to give encouragement and hope. I’m thankful for them.
But the question we need to ask is where will real hope come from? What’s the source of hope? Who’s the source of hope? Or is it just out there somewhere?
I don’t think hope is just reaching out into nothing. Like everything else, it has a source.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
Hope is not at the start but comes while we’re in the race. Hope doesn’t come on the first lap, but only after we’ve gone through two other steps.
1. Endurance – we don’t duck out at the first sign of trouble; we stay in the race in spite of it being difficult and exhausting.
2. Character – As we stay in the race and experience endurance, it shows to everyone and ourselves that we are the genuine article, the real thing.
Real hope only comes after endurance and character are being developed. We get some endurance, and that builds some character. And that builds some hope.
Now we don’t have to make it all the way to the end of the race before any hope is delivered to us. It comes little by little, along the way as we grow.
So, I have two questions to ask myself and you.
First: How’s our endurance doing? Are we pulling out of the race early? Have we given up? Pulling off to let others pass us?
Second: How’s our character doing? Do our words, thoughts, actions, and attitudes come from knowing that God’s love is there for us. That he is for us. That he’s reaching out to us.
The guarantee that hope is available comes in and through God, our maker, the lover of our soul. The one who saw us as lost and made the way back to him through Jesus.
Now, that’s some hope.