HOPE IN SPITE OF COVID-19

Jun 3, 2020 by

HOPE IN SPITE OF COVID-19

During this COVID-19 crisis and the subsequent lock-down, hope is becoming more and more elusive to some people. For some, hope has all but dissipated, and they are left wondering if this situation can ever be redeemed. Fear has been a huge factor in this whole situation. Even when things do improve and open up, what exactly will the new “normal” even look like?

What does the Bible have to say about hope?

What is hope?

First, let’s see what the dictionary says about hope:

noun—a ground for expectation, trust; that in which one places one’s confidence.

verb—to look forward to with confidence of fulfillment; expectation with desire.

(The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language)

Gage Canadian Thesaurus gives the following as synonyms for hope:

anticipation, assurance, expectation, possibility

Now let’s look at the original language of the Bible. Both the Hebrew and Greek translates hope as: expectation, to anticipate, trust

We can see from the various definitions that hope is something positive, something with an expected end, an outcome which can be relied on.

What does Scripture say about hope?

Romans 5:3-5

a) we are to celebrate in seasons of suffering

b) when we celebrate in our suffering, we develop endurance which

c) shapes our characters

d) with refined characters we learn the meaning of hope and how to anticipate God’s goodness.

e) hope never fails to satisfy our deepest need because

f) the Holy Spirit was given to us to flood our hearts with God’s love.

First, Paul tells us we are to rejoice through difficulties and seasons of suffering. That seems all but impossible when we are in the middle of tribulation and pain.

How can we possibly do this?

Perhaps it might be a little easier to understand if we change the order of Paul’s list, and begin with his final statement: The Holy Spirit has flooded our hearts with God’s love.

Where does this take us?

When we truly experience the love of God in our hearts, we will have the assurance that we can trust Him fully. We will have an inner “knowing” that hope will never disappoint us, will never fail to satisfy the deepest needs and longings of our hearts because it is His love that produces the hope. We learn to expect God to fulfill our hope as we place ourselves in His hands and allow Him to shape and refine our characters into the likeness of Jesus.

How can this be?

Let us always remember that we are not celebrating the trials themselves, or the pain or dismay they may bring, but we rejoice in the life of Christ within us. He is the One who enables us to do this because, to make a full circle with our Scripture, His love is flooding our hearts through the work of the Holy Spirit in us.

Now, let’s look at a few more Scriptures on hope.

We want you all to continue working until the end so that you’ll realize the certainty that comes with hope.

Hebrews 6:11 (The Voice Reader’s Bible)

So God has given us two unchanging things: His promise and His oath. These prove that it is impossible for God to lie. As a result, we who come to God for refuge might be encouraged to seize that hope that is set before us. That hope is real and true, an anchor to steady our restless souls, a hope that leads us back behind the curtain to where God is (as the high priests did in the days when reconciliation flowed from sacrifices in the temple.)

Hebrews 6:18,19 (The Voice)

Let us hold strong to the confession of our hope, never wavering, since the One who promised it to us is faithful.

Hebrews 10:23 (The Voice)

…but has in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

1 Peter 1:20,21 (NASB)

but exalt Him as Lord in your heart. Always be ready to offer a defense, humbly and respectfully, when someone asks you why you live in hope.

1 Peter 3:15 (The Voice)

We are told in Hebrews 6:11 that we are to:

1. show diligence

2. realize the certainty of hope with full assurance to the end.

    In Hebrews 6:18,19 we learn that:

1, God has sworn an oath which proves God cannot lie and we can trust Him

2, we must seize hold of the hope

3. this hope is sure and steadfast

    Hebrews 10:23 tells of:

1. the confession of that hope

2. that we must not waver in that hope

3. that God has promised and He is faithful

1 Peter 1:21 says our hope must be in God.

In 1 Peter 3:15, Peter tells us that we must always be ready to give a testimony, to declare and speak of why we live in hope to anyone who asks us.

What have we learned about hope?

As we put our hope in God and the truth of His word, His promise, we can trust Him to bring our hope to fruition. As we rejoice in suffering, He refines us so we are able to endure, knowing that hope will never disappoint us because the Holy Spirit has poured out God’s love into our hearts. We must remain diligent in holding onto hope and to keep moving forward no matter the cost. We can rest in God knowing that He is faithful to do His work in us as we submit to Him.

But we also need to be diligent to do our part. We must seize that hope, realizing the certainty of it, and keep it as a sure and steadfast anchor for our souls. We also must confess our hope, speak of it, declare it to others as we share the reasons why we live in that hope. We cannot waver where hope is concerned, and we won’t do that when we rely of the fact that God has promised, has sworn an oath concerning that promise, and He cannot lie.

Here is the poem I promised you in my post Walking Through the Valley of COVID-19 as the sequel to “A Prayer from the Valley” from my book Shadows in My Valley.

Yes, hope is sure. Hope is steadfast. Hope produces expected results when we place our hope in God. Let us stir up our hearts and encourage one another to keep on hoping no matter what is happening around us. Our lives are safe in the hands of the Almighty God.

This is My command: be strong and courageous. Never be afraid or discouraged because I am your God, the Eternal One, and I will remain with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9 (The Voice)

But I will keep hope alive, and my praise to You will grow exponentially.

Psalm 71:14 (The Voice)

And know that the peace of God (a peace that is beyond any and all of our human understanding) will stand watch over your hearts and minds in Jesus, the Anointed One.

Philippians 4:7 (The Voice)

Thank you so much for stopping by to read my post. I hope you have enjoyed your visit and that you have found encouragement here. Please take a moment to leave me a  comment in the box below. I love to hear from my readers, and I really appreciate you all.

May the Lord richly bless you and fill you with hope.

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4 Comments

  1. Mary Hood

    So beautifully written!

    • Thank you so much Mary. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I was asked to write something on hope for the church, and it ended up much too long for the purpose (I didn’t know what they wanted it for at the time) and so they used the last part only. I decided I would simply turn it into a blog post. I think it worked well. God bless you Mary.

  2. Because of God’s loving promise, hope never fails. I know it is exactly what has gotten me through these times, Diane.
    Blessings!

    • Thanks for stopping by Martha. Yes, without hope we are lost creatures. Hope is our anchor especially in times like these. I appreciate you leaving a comment. Blessings to you!

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