the sun will rise again.

“You will not know truly what hope is until you’re in a situation or circumstance that seems hopeless.” (something my pastor said this past sunday.)
Nothing has sunk so deeply inside my heart than these words. It's along the same lines of "light shines bright in the darkness", which can seem a bit pretentious and cliche but actually expresses a surprising amount of truth. It's an undeniable fact of life that all of us has have dealt with hard stuff in our lives; some more than others. it's part of being human, being assailed with trials and difficulty and trying to make sense of it all. It's all too easy to get lost in the darkness of night and forget to look up at the moon and remember, the sun will rise again. The moon is only lit because of the sun's brilliant light. This life is cloaked in darkness, yet God's truth still pierces the veil and shines through. We're not left in utter blackness. Hope isn't an abstract term for believers. It's something firm in glorious truth.

Hope is the assurance of God's promise. We all use the word "hope today as something easily doubted. "I hope it will be sunny today", "I hope I'll be able to go to the concert", "I hope I make the swim team." Hope for children of God is something solid, unmovable, something fixed and most definitely not up to change.

Hope for us is God's love. His vast, unending, unchanging, steadfast love. If you ever find yourself doubting God's love, remember that he crucified His willing and submissive Son to take God's wrath meant for us upon His shoulders. The gravity of this is world bending. Our sin no longer binds us in hopeless chains; we are a freed people. And on top of this, God has given us assured places in heaven. He's adopted us as brothers and sisters of Christ. He rewards us for good deeds that he's already planned for us to walk in. Let this sink in.

Hope for us is God's character. If you've ever read and studied the Psalms (or any part of the Bible) it's a lot about God's character -- about His patience, His justice, His fierce love for His children, HIs tender care for the helpless and needy, His righteousness. God is faithful, God is perfect, God has no capacity for evil. He's kind, He's merciful. We can hope and trust in God because His character is steadfast and unmovable.

Hope for us is a coming Rest. This life is not all there is, and goodness gracious I'm so thankful it isn't. This is a cursed world. We live in the crippling effects of sin every day. We have death and things like fear and murder and sadness and selfishness and sin. We are just tiny candles in the blackness, and it's so hard not to feel squelched out by the darkness in the world. But it's through this sin-stricken life we endure; we press on, we fight our flesh and sin because there is something better coming; oh, something so much better is coming. There is a day coming that sin will be obliterated, evil will be cast out, this decaying world uncreated, and we will be in the presence of our Savior, able to worship Him freely and unconstrained. There is a day coming where we won't ever have to fight our flesh, fight our sin, fight depression or anger or lust or hatred or anxiety. There will be a day when we can rest, rest fully in the love of God. There is a day coming.

I urge you to redefine your definition of hope. It's not a maybe, a probably, or a most likely. It's a solid, definitive, fixed assurance where we can rest peacefully in the present tribulation.

There is hope abounding in God. Just read the Bible to see it! It's bountifully flowing out of His nature. There is hope for purpose, for relief, for victory. Try looking anywhere else in this world for such real and tangible hope and you'll come up empty handed. This world was not meant to provide hope, merely point us to the One who could give it. Hope is not something man can create or invent; it is only found in the loving God of the universe. Hope does not exist apart from God.

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