Devotional

“…Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.” – Romans 12:12 (KJV).

Just after their miraculous rescue and release from Egyptian slavery the Israelites found themselves with their backs up against the Red Sea, looking anxiously at the approaching Egyptian army. What should they do? What can they do?

Have you ever felt that way, caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place? Perhaps you feel you are in an impossible situation now. Fortunately, there is hope. You can respond in faith and face whatever challenges you find in front and behind you because “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge.”  God is our source of hope: ”…joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God.” (Psalm 146:5)

Most people view hope as wishful thinking, as in “I hope something will happen.” This is not what the Bible means by hope. The biblical definition of hope is “confident expectation.” Hope is a firm assurance regarding things that are unclear and unknown. “We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)” (Romans 8:24-25)

Paul knew what it was like to have hope in the midst of hopeless situations. As he and Silas sat in a Philippian jail, they could have been in despair. But, instead, they had hope and sang praises to God. And God brought them deliverance and victory (Acts 16).

We may go through situations that are threatening, that can cause uncertainty, anxiety, doubt, or fear. But if we depend on God, we can know that He is the source of hope, and we can rejoice in Him and the hope He promises us. If we have hope we can be filled with joy and peace, no matter what is going on in the world.

Today, remind yourself not to place your hope in the world. Rather rejoice in the hope that God has given you. Place your hope in the living God and His eternal power to save and make everything right in His time, in His way.

Storms will come. But when they do, filter them through the promises of God. And since his promises are unbreakable, your hope will be unshakable.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What does a hope-filled life look like?
  2. Through Christ, we have hope. How can that be evident in your life this week?