Hope Has A Name
Have you ever noticed that whenever there’s a problem in the world, the world is always looking to the Church to have all the answers? Almost in a way that says, “if your God is so good, why would He let this happen?” This isn’t exactly the lens to look at it through, though. As the Church, we should have an answer to life’s most pressing issues. We should be able to be that light and hope in a dark world. At the same time, we don’t always have answers. Why? Because we’re experiencing life just like everyone else.
In John 16:33 (NIV), Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” One thing the Bible makes plain is that trouble WILL come. Life WILL happen to all of us. But we can have hope, because hope has a name: Jesus.
Jesus in the good times, Jesus in the chaos, Jesus in everything.
You see, God knew that we’d have questions about life, why things happen, and why we do the things we do. He knew we’d need answers to those questions, too. That’s why Jesus was always a part of the plan from the beginning of creation. God knew that sin would enter the world and that humanity would need a Savior. He knew life would be overwhelming and at times feel all-consuming. And believe it or not, God knew 2020 would happen exactly the way it did. So, we know that hope exists and that there’s an answer to our hopelessness. But, truly, how can we hold on to this in a world that’s so broken? Here are 3 questions to ask yourself:
1. Do I believe in God?
This may seem basic, but it’s foundational for what we claim to believe (and it’s where many of us get it wrong). When it comes to being a Christ follower, God’s not asking you to behave in “the right way.” He’s not asking you to quote the Bible cover to cover. He’s not asking you to serve in church on every team. At the very foundation of our faith, God’s simply asking us to believe. So, ask yourself: do I believe that God is who he says He is? Do I believe that his son Jesus died for my sins and rose again? Do I believe that the Holy Spirit is with me, right now, counseling me, teaching me, and convicting me? God is either Lord of all, or not at all. But that decision’s up to you.
2. Do I believe His promises?
Maybe you believe in God, but you don’t quite have the faith yet to take God at His word. This is why being in our word daily is so important for our faith. If we don’t clothe ourselves in truth, we’ll start buying the lie of the enemy that there’s something out there that’s greater. So if we say we believe in God, then we also have to believe His word. John 1:1 (NIV) says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” If the word is God, and we believe in God, then every word from Genesis to Revelation has to be true. Romans 8:28 (NIV) says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” So if that promise is true, then that means there is hope on the other side of ALL things — milestones, losing family members, COVID, and everything in between.
3. Do I have the right standard for hope?
Oftentimes we think that hope means a life filled with wins and success, but that’s the opposite of what God promises us. And no one made this clearer than King David. He is probably the best representation of what humanity truly looks like: happy one day, sad the next; praising God one minute, and a minute later asking where God is at. But King David paints a beautiful picture of what hope is and what it’s like walking in relationship with God. In Psalms 23:4 (NIV) he says, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Yes, life dark will be hard, but we can have hope because God is walking right there beside us, leading us into the places that he has for us.
So as you go throughout this week, let’s continue to place our hope in Jesus. Trusting that while this year was dark and difficult, it was not for nothing, and God is working it together for our good.
Watch the full message “The Wrong Side of Hope, Part 2” on YouTube.