You can find hope in troubled times when you know where to look. Isn’t this reassuring?
Where Hope Is Not Found
Did you know that man and the government are not the source of our hope? The psalmist made that clear in 60:11 when he wrote that it is vain, or empty, to put our hope in man. Our president and our elected officials are not hope’s foundation. That seems clear after almost every election. All make promises; few deliver.
A strong army and military are not hope’s source. Believers who put their hope in a strong military, no matter how comforting that might seem, are trusting in vain. Psalm 39 warns us that mighty armies, men of great strength, and chariots and horses are not the place to rest our hopes of a future.
Hope is not found in education, or the brilliance of science, or in finding a mastery over nature.
Hope is not found in humanitarian aid, or the passage of national healthcare, or in a big government bailout or stimulus package.
Where Hope Is Found
Hope is found as we develop a confident expectation based on God’s faithfulness to His promises and plan. Psalm 130:5 makes the source of our hope perfectly clear: “I will wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope.” Romans 15:14 teaches that hope is found in the comfort of the promises of Scripture.
These truths result in a peace about the future and an excitement about how God will fulfill His promises and work out His eternal plan.
Hope is found in patiently waiting for God’s timing and not trying to force Him to respond to our demands. God wants our focus to be on Him as we look at troubled times. Paul said, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed” (Romans 8:18–19). It is found in the gospel and our salvation (1 Thessalonians 1:3, 5:8), in Christ’s sure return (1 Thessalonians 2:19), and in the assurance of our future resurrection (1 Thessalonians 4:13). This troubled world is not our final home!
Hope is found in the perspective that sees our current trials with present and eternal purposes. This allows us to be able to “rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3–5, ESV). When we realize that these troubles never frustrate a Sovereign God, we are then in the best position to respond in joy realizing He intends to use them in our lives to build spiritual maturity (James 1:2–5).
Hope is found when we understand that our happiness and comfort is never more important than living for God’s glory. When the choice in life is between happiness or holiness (Ephesians 4:24), or man’s glory or God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31), it rises in us only as we make right choices.
Holy living to God’s glory alone is our entire purpose for existence. Let God be our primary focus so we can enjoy Him forever—He is our Eternal Hope!