Perseverance and Hope

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

It’s been a disappointing week. After just one Sunday of meeting together at the church building, we’re back to isolation at home for a month. Tighter restrictions are a hard pill to swallow after a full year of fighting Covid-19. The virus has proven to be tenacious. We are tired and wonder when life will return to normal.

If we simply concentrate on the world’s troubles, we’ll be discouraged and disappointed. It’s easy to do with endless news reports reminding us of the difficulties we face. Somehow, we must rise above the bad news and concentrate on God who sustains us. The world has forgotten Him, but we must not. If you look again at the scripture above, it will remind you of His desire to give us hope.

We’ll always have disappointments in life. Someone compared them to shipwrecks – the shores of life are littered with them. But out of them arise great things, like joy, peace, hope and power. The Bible was written by men who knew many disappointments. They faced murderous rulers, military occupation, and churches wracked with controversies and upsetting cultural adjustments. Yet all of these inspired writers were great men who relied on the God of hope. He saw them through to victory, and He has continued to give people perseverance and hope for 2,000 years.

John Newton, the once-reformed British slave trader of the 18th century and author of the hymn “Amazing Grace,” said this about disappointments: “There is many a thing which the world calls disappointment, but there is no such word in the dictionary of faith. What to others are disappointments are to believers intimations of the way of God.”

Viruses and disappointing restrictions are no match for God. He’ll see us through. There is peace in believing. Read our scripture one more time.

– Tim Johnson