But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. Psalm 71:14 (ESV)
For most of us, hope seems to be elusive and conditional. We may feel hopeful on a certain day or in a season of life, yet circumstances and situations can change that cause hope to dissipate, quickly being replaced with our doubts and fears. How can we join the psalmist in this bold proclamation that we will “hope continually”?
Hope is not the denial of pain or sorrow but is the steadfast belief that our fears do not have the last word. Christians are not asked to ignore or dismiss the reality of suffering and injustice in this world and in our own lives. We are never asked to simply put on a happy face and pretend all is well. Especially as people who follow Jesus in the way of the cross, to be with Jesus is to be in places of chaos and brokenness. He invites us into these places to join him in speaking life where there is death, proclaiming hope where there is despair.
We grieve and we cry out for justice, but we hear St. Paul’s words to us, reminding us that we “do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13).
Christians follow a crucified Lord who took every fear, every pain, and every doubt upon himself on the cross. Yet we also follow a resurrected Savior, one for whom the cross was not the end but the culmination of his mission to bring hope to the whole of creation. As it has been said by Christians over the years, “We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song!”
Hoping continually in all times, places, and circumstances is not blind optimism or wishful thinking but is rooted in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Paradoxically, it is the celebration of our limitations! For hope to be genuine Christian hope and not simply positive thinking, we must embrace our inability to heal our own wounds or free ourselves from the things that bind and enslave us. Hope is surrender, turning to Jesus and asking him to work in our lives a freedom and a hope that we are powerless to do in our on strength.
Look to Jesus today and rejoice in the glory of the resurrection. As you do you will find strength for the journey and a hope that will never fade!
“The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love” (Psalm 147:11 NIV).
Prayer: Father, thank you for Easter and the hope we know and share through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Amen.
Application: Where have your circumstances caused you to lose hope? How can the resurrection bring hope into even the darkest of places?