Never lose hope? Never be fainthearted? Never feel overwhelmed? Never get sucked into the sewer of despair? For our friends and neighbors in the flooding Midwest that is a tall order. Can you imagine in your own life? No day lost to anguish. No decision driven by fear. This is God’s will for you and me. He wants us to “abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13 nkjv).
Abound. What an extraordinary verb to use with “hope.”
For about half an hour last week, the sky became a waterfall. I had to pull my car off the road. Windshield wipers stood no chance against the downpour. Every square inch of the highway was drenched. Rain abounded. God will drench your world with hope.
I once spent a day in Yosemite forest. I could no more number the trees than I could count the stars. Tall ones, small ones. To the right and left. Behind me, before me. Yosemite abounded in trees. God will turn your world into a forest of hope.
I remember, as a child, walking through a cotton field near my grandparents’ home in West Texas. The farm abounded in cotton. I saw no end to it. North, south, east, west: puffy white balls on all sides. God will grant you a summer harvest of hope.
Could you use some abounding hope? Not occasional hope or sporadic hope or thermostatic hope, but abounding hope?
It’s yours for the asking. “Grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us” (Heb. 6:18–20 the message).
Ask yourself this key question: Is what I’m hooked to stronger than what I’ll go through?
Everyone is anchored to something. A retirement account or a résumé. Some are tethered to a person; others are attached to a position. Yet these are surface objects. Would you anchor your boat to another boat? Heaven forbid. You want something that goes deeper and holds firmer than other floating vessels. But when you anchor to the things of this world, are you not doing the same? Can a retirement account survive a depression? Can good health weather a disease? There is no guarantee.
Salty sailors would urge you to hook on to something hidden and solid. Don’t trust the buoy on the water, don’t trust the sailors in the next boat, and don’t trust the other boat. In fact, don’t even trust your own boat. When the storm hits, trust no one but God. The apostle Paul proclaimed it triumphantly: “we have put our hope in the living God” (1 Tim. 4:10).
Let’s do the same.