The God of All Hope
18Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, 19that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. 20Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. 21For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. 22Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you. —Psalm 33:18-22
Hopelessness. Darkness. Despair. Increasingly the world around us seems to be in an unrelenting, headlong plunge into moral and spiritual chaos. Day-by-day, our culture is running away from the light and life found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And sadly, it is not just the culture “out there” that is being impacted. So many of our personal lives are burdened by spiritual defeat or burdened by watching friends and family choose and cling to a variety of spiritual idols.
If we let hopelessness and burdens go unchecked, we can begin to feel the cold, winter shadows of despair slowly creep over our souls. Our prayers and our spiritual passion begin to grow dim and cold. This is sometimes reflected in our assumption that the best we can do now is give up the hope for spiritual advancement and prepare ourselves to endure to the end.
It is in times like this that we need to hear the gentle words the apostle Paul prayed over the Romans: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Romans 15:13). It is just a short prayer, but it is filled with such power and truth. Our foundation of hope is the God of hope. He is just as sovereign today as He was yesterday and just as willing to hear our cries for help.
Perhaps your response to this would be admitting you lack the strength to embrace hope today. Thankfully, our hope does not depend on our own strength. Notice that Paul points to the capacity of the Holy Spirit as the power to “abound in hope.” Wait, read that again. Not just embrace hope, abound in hope!
A man who impacted my life significantly once commented that despair often precedes a significant move of God. That is true both in our individual lives and in our culture as well. Ask the God of hope to fill your heart with joy and peace today, so you can abound in hope. Then as we abound in hope, let’s pray in hope for a great move of God in our lives, in those around us, in our churches, and in our nation! —Luke Ahrens
Prayer – Father, fill my heart with joy and peace so I can abound in hope. So often I let fear drive me to despair, thinking that either You don’t care or You can’t change things. I know this isn’t true, Lord. Help me believe and have hope. In Jesus’ mighty and matchless name, Amen.