Pearls of Hope

Posted: April 5, 2020 in Uncategorized
Photo: Rob Douglas

When the world’s messed up there’s one thing you really need, and that’s hope. But how do we find hope?

Over the years many people have found the answer in a rather surprising place. 

I’ve read stories from people in all parts of the world, and at different times in history, who have found hope in this surprising place and over time they’ve been able to confirm that it was real.

Stories about people who have experienced illnesses and in their suffering they have found hope when everyone around them seemed to be giving up hope. Stories about people who have found hope during times of war when they didn’t know if they’d get back home to see their loved ones. Stories about people who have suffered in concentration camps and prisons and on the darkest of days, they have experienced hope. Stories about people who have had accidents and experienced life-changing injuries and disabilities, yet have experienced hope at the worst of times. (Check out this story of a doctor who came back to life)

It’s pretty hard to believe, but the stories are true. People have found hope during times of suffering and they have achieved that hope through their faith in Jesus.

The funny thing is – well maybe not so funny – the Bible confirms all these stories. I’m on a journey at the moment, searching the Bible to find out what it says about hope, and this is one verse that I came across:

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Photo: australiasnorthwest.com

We love pearls and we are often amazed at the beauty of pearls. Natural pearls form when an irritant – usually a parasite – works its way into an oyster. As a defense mechanism, a fluid is used to coat the irritant. This coating is deposited layer upon layer until a beautiful pearls is formed. 

I think we’ve got a great picture here of suffering and how to deal with it. To start with it’s not a pleasant thing, and it actually seems to be incompatible with a good life. But various layers are developed over that suffering. According to the Biblical writer, suffering produces endurance, the next layer that grows over endurance is strength of character.  Then over this layer is another layer which is described as hope. And hope, we’re told, doesn’t lead to disappointment.

I reckon it’s also possible to cover suffering with a whole lot of other layers that don’t lead to the production of that pearl of hope. To that initial irritant of suffering, we can add layers of fear, anxiety, regret and guilt. And the final result is not nice.

For us to become pearls of hope that will brighten the lives of the people around us, requires us to allow the love of God to fill our hearts and to begin to change us from the inside out. To take the irritant of suffering and to add those layers of endurance and strength of character.

These are times when we need hope and we need more people to become pearls of hope that will enhance and brighten the lives of the people around us.  

Check out my previous blogs on Journey to Hope here and here. You can also hear them on 98.5 Sonshine fm.  If you are looking for a 9-minute message of hope, you can also check me out on Youtube.

Comments
  1. Ronald Bower says:

    There are some interesting revelations of God’s saving love for sinners in Daniel ch 10, helpfully explained most main-stream Bible commentaries (helpful for me; not required by Pastor R Douglas!)
    – Ronald B

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