True Hope

There are many fears within our human imaginations that we believe we cannot bear—apprehensions so terrifying, we often shrink from even admitting that they exist. The what-ifs of life are hopefully covered by our prayers to God for protection for ourselves, as well as for those that we hold dear. Some go so far as to suggest that it is not the Lord’s will for believers to suffer such things; if we simply have enough faith, then God’s supernatural protection will surround us like a magical force-field, protecting us from the worst in life. If we only think positive thoughts and claim victory over the darkness, these things will never touch us.

We all know, however, that Christians (yes, even very spiritual ones) do suffer in this life—just like every other human being, but there is an important difference: hope. 2 Corinthians 4, verses 7-10 tells us:

But we have this treasure [the Gospel] in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

Our hope is not grounded in the magical belief that our faith and prayers will save us from the worst imaginable scenarios in life. Rather, it is in Our Loving Savior, who gives us power to overcome, even at our weakest point in life. He redeems our suffering and carries us through the deepest darkness. Why? In verse 15 of the same chapter, we learn that all this is for our benefit, so that “the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.”

As others see our faith in action, it opens their eyes to see the Lord and His love more clearly. What hope could we give the lost in their suffering if as believers, we were somehow immune to the same? No—our hope cannot be grounded in the mistaken belief that those things we fear the most can simply be prayed away or denied because of our standing with God. True hope is in the character of God, not in what we want Him to do for us.

(All Scripture referenced from NIV)

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