The Book of Hope

Posted: April 12, 2020 in Uncategorized

I’m on a journey to discover more about hope. There’s very little that’s familiar about the world in which we live right now, and I think everyone needs hope more than ever.

But how do find hope? I went to buy petrol for my car the other day and was delighted that fuel prices are down. A great reason to feel hopeful. With industry closing down and people using less cars, I’m told the levels of carbon dioxide in the air are decreasing.  Could that be good for our planet? Perhaps a reason to feel hopeful?

I read the other day that there are all sorts of stories on social media about animals moving into cities, finding their place that have been deserted by humans who have gone into isolation. Hopeful? Well, apparently most of those stories were fake news.  You see people try to drum up hopefulness, and they’ll even tell porkies to try and make people feel hopeful.

So there’s got to be a better way. My search for hope has been centred on the Bible and I’m astounded at the amount of hopefulness that is present in the Bible.  I was reading a passage that talks about our need to help people do what is right and to build them up in their relationship with God, and the passage concludes like this:

And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.

The very purpose of the Scriptures, another word for the Bible, is to give us hope and encouragement as we wait for God’s promises to be fulfilled.

Don’t you just love it that all those meetings that were in your calendar have all been cancelled? And perhaps you’re thinking to yourself right now that maybe there’s something else you can do to put this time of isolation and social-distancing to good use. 

I’d like to suggest you take the time to read the Bible.  I know there’s some bits in there that are hard to understand, but if the purpose of the Scriptures is to give us hope and encouragement, take the opportunity to specifically look for hope and encouragement as you read.

I love the Psalms, right in the middle of the Bible, because although they sometimes express hardship and doubt and even fear, they are expressing life as it really is. But almost inevitably the writers to the Psalms, after they have had a whinge about God, and their enemies, and their own doubts, they focus back on God, and his beauty and majesty; they talk about his love and grace, his generosity, and his hopefulness. 

Here’s an example: Unfailing love and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed! Truth springs up from the earth, and righteousness smiles down from heaven. Yes, the Lord pours down his blessings. Our land will yield its bountiful harvest. Righteousness goes as a herald before him,preparing the way for his steps.

The Bible is a source of hope. Take this opportunity when the busy-ness of life is on hold to a certain degree, to read the Bible. In fact this is a great time to develop a habit of reading the Bible every day. Set aside a time each day when you can read the Bible and explore what it says about hope.

After all, it says itself that the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.

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