Article: UNALTERED HOPE | Gladys Biju George
The term ‘hope’ has much power and its significance depends on the way we accept or intepret it. In each and every phase of life hope sounds essential since it grants us endurance and conviction to face, especially the difficult situations. Yes, it inspires us to move forward despite of the prevailing and past experiences.
Apostle Paul while writing his epistle to the church in Rome mentions about Abraham as, Who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” (Romans 4:18). Prior to the verse it says that Abraham believed —God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did. His belief was accounted for righteousness by God because it was with a hope though situations seemed contrary. Eliphaz spoke about Job, Is not your reverence your confidence? And the integrity of your ways your hope? “Remember now, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the upright ever cut off? (Job 4:6-7). For Job the integrity, he held in his ways was the hope. Definitely we see a good end because the creator judges righteously. Neither the innocent were perished nor the righteous cut off as the eyes of the Lord are upon them that hope in His mercy. For there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down. that it will sprout again, and that it’s tender shoots will not cease. Though its root may grow old in the earth, and its stump may die in the ground, Yet at the scent of water it will bud and bring forth branches like a plant. (Job:14:7-9). Since the tree is not plucked out completely and due to the presence of roots there is a hope that it will sprout again and bring forth branches like a plant. As the scent of water gives life, rivers of living water will flow out of the heart of him who believes. Though earth was without form and void, even darkness was on the face of deep, the scripure says that the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of waters. No matter how hopeless the circumstances are, the Spirit of God works wonders in the midst of it.
For surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off. (Pro:23:18). Solomon, the wisest among the wise exhorts that definitely there will be a reward. The word ‘surely’ has more significance because it claims an assurance. So we need not give up as prior to the verse, it is also mentioned that, The Redeemer is mighty and He will plead those cause that are against you. The hand of the Lord came upon Ezekiel and took him in the Spirit to the midst of valley full of very dry bones. Ezekiel prophesied as commanded and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army. Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ “Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. “I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.’ (Eze:37:11-14). The house of Israel seemed hopeless and cut off. But the Almighty will bring them out of it. He assures to pour His Spirit on them and cause them to live.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jer:29:11). The thoughts and ways of the Lord are for peace, higher as the heavens, yes to give a future and hope for His chosen children. Thus says the Lord: “Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded, says the Lord, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope in your future, says the Lord, that your children shall come back to their own border. “I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself: ‘You have chastised me, and I was chastised, like an untrained bull; restore me, and I will return, for You are the Lord my God. Surely after my turning, I repented; and after I was instructed, I struck myself on the thigh; I was ashamed, yes, even humiliated, because I bore the reproach of my youth.’ Is Ephraim My dear son? Is he a pleasant child? For though I spoke against him, I earnestly remember him still; therefore My heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him, says the LORD. (Jer:31:16-20). Here too God watches the weepings and bemoanings of His people. He promises that their work will be rewarded, a reward to their tears. Also they will return from the land of enemy with a hope in future because Almighty himself will have mercy on them.
Apostle exhorts about the hope set before us i.e hope of eternal life, as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil
(Hebrews 6:19). Apostle John while writing his epistle mentions that, We are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (1 John 3:2-3). Yes we are to purify ourselves in order to see the Lord as He is. Let us hope like Abraham though situation seems contrary, and preserve integrity like Job. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. (Jer: 17:7). How previleged are we to receive such blessings. Therefore let us place our hope in Christ, our foundation and wait eagerly by preparing ourselves for the hope of eternal life that we are called into. May our good Lord guide us to lead a victorious Christian life. God bless all.
– Gladys Biju George