Updated: Jul 11, 2020
by Sister Sybil B. Mack
"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience..."(1 Peter 3:15, 16)
The world is experiencing solemn events as we grapple with the reality of another pandemic.
However, our history is filled with periods in time wherein, a pandemic, natural disaster, or war has caused millions of lives and hope to be lost. When we talk about “hope” in our American culture, we usually mean it in a wishful, “maybe” sense: “I hope I get the job,” “I hope Kentucky wins the SEC this year,” “I hope there’s some toilet paper at Kroger today,” etc. Nonetheless, this is not the way God speaks about hope. “Hope” is in things not seen. But because of faith, our hope is accompanied by an earnest expectation.
Rom. 12:12 - Our hope confidently rests in God's promises and does not flounder in the uncertainties of mortal life. Therefore, we rejoice in hope because of our confident expectation of eternal life
People are tremendously resourceful when faced with adversity. They even find themselves performing acts of kindness that they never thought of doing before. They are displaying signs of hope. People seek God during hard times because real hope springs from absolute faith in God and His promises. Jesus is our hope!
Eph. 1:3-4 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.
One thing we must not do is lose hope during trying periods such as this pandemic. Oftentimes, we get so fixated on our circumstances that hope fades into the background or gets obscured completely. These are instances when we should go quiet, be still and listen as Christ is actually present, living and reigning in us.
Isa 40:31 – But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
It is during hard times that God is encouraging us to refocus: hope in Him, let circumstances of the world fade.
Rom 5:2-5a Through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope; 5And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
As we live through this experience with coronavirus, a new disease or man’s new enemy; or should I say, the same old enemy that has just taken on a new form. This enemy love to play with our minds by repeating constantly negative fearful thoughts of how bad things are or through imaginations how bad things can get. Fear can drive you to do some crazy things. The enemy wants us to be consumed with despair thereby, depleting our faith. Why should you be afraid? Regardless of our feelings, regardless of our situations, regardless of the uncontrollable, we serve a God who is all powerful—over our feelings, situations, and even the things in our life that are outside of our control.
2 Tim 1:7 – For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
The good news is that hopelessness and glory cannot coexist. No matter how dark and miserable things are, Jesus is our ever-present light. His love and compassion can cut through the darkness to give Hope and encouragement to the weary and shattered.
Deut 31:6 – Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
The enemy may be attacking you, but Jesus’ light shines brightest in the darkness.
Psa 23:4 - Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Trials are opportunities to see God do amazing things! Do not run from trials; find Jesus in the middle of them. Laugh in the face of them. Allow them to build patience. Let trials become some of your greatest victories! This is the blessed comfort of the Holy Spirit, who dwells in every born-again Believer.
Phil 4:7 - And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
In reading a several passages namely the book of 1 Peter, it ascertains that we as Christians have been born again to a living hope, as a result of obeying Christ’s gospel. It reads:
1 Peter 1:3–5. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.”
God is our refuge and strength. We can live fearless, emboldened by the strength of our God no matter What is going on around us. No matter WHAT comes our way in this life, we can have a confident expectation of what is on the other side of our biggest problems because of the love, forgiveness and power of God available in Christ. Yes, things are bad, but Jesus is our hope!
If God can give us the hope of life after death through Christ, He without question is our hope during the COVID-19 crisis. Just sayin’…