September 21, 2021 – Reflection on “The Endurance of Hope!”

Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol Him, all peoples! For great is His steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord  endures forever. Praise the Lord! Psalm 117:1-2.

Just as His Love and faithfulness endures forever, our Hope is renewed moment by moment.  We often use the word, Hope, for a wishful thought for what we hope might happen. There is another meaning to hope that gives a different message.

In life, we often become discouraged and wonder why bad things are happening. It seems that one bad thing follows another bad thing in our lives. What good is life. Then comes a word from Joshua, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9.

The ‘why’ of this verse to be strong and courageous is built on the promise that the Lord our God is with us wherever we go. Just brandishing fighting words and fists at the upsets of the world is not enough. We want to hope for something that won’t vanish in a short period of time. Every worldly thing, a car, an appliance, or the flower that blooms have a short time, and then won’t work, and the flower will soon die. Not even insurance can lengthen the life of a car.

We, too, have a short time while we are on earth. What fuels hope and brings peace and joy into our lives that don’t die? Hope is knowing that all things work together. And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28.

The composer of the Hymn, The Solid Rock, was born in 1797 in London to parents who would not allow a Bible in their home. He heard about Jesus as a teenager and chose to follow Jesus Christ. Then, as he listened to God’s Word, he wanted to write a hymn about the gracious experience of a Christian. He visited the sick, singing a hymn, reading a portion of God’s word, and praying before he left.

When called to visit a Christian brother’s wife who was ill, he couldn’t find his hymnal. He went home and wrote: My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but lean on Jesus’ name. He returned and sang this to the ill wife, who wanted a copy of the lyrics. It gave her hope. He went home and wrote the remaining verses. In1852 – 1873, he preached God’s Word as a Pastor.

Edward Mote knew where to find genuine hope… as he testified in the hymn’s chorus, My Hope is built on nothing less that Jesus’ righteousness.

What will refresh our hope when we become discouraged and wonder about life’s pathway? Reading The Word of God, and there we will find stories of actual people who have Faith in God and believe in our Lord God.

The first step is knowing truth. But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ. 2 Thessalonians 3:3-5.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you. James 4:10. Humility begins with acknowledging Our Lord God as King, and the Creator of all we see and cannot see. By faith, we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. Hebrews 3:3.

We cannot out-think God, for we cannot have His thoughts or His ways. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9.

Even as the moon reflects the sun, when we reflect His Love, Joy, and Peace of God, we become His Children. Therefore, be imitators of God as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1.

How can we find hope in Him when the bad days are upon us, and we wail, How long, oh, Lord? Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.Romans 5:3-5.

Just as God’s faithfulness is steadfast, our endurance through suffering will produce our Hope in Him. And we hold the banner high for our love for Him and for our loved ones.

What about the little ones who come after? As we focus on ourselves, we learn to find hope in Him and a place to belong. Mother wrote about her family’s heritage, The Lines are Fallen. She told me that my Grandmother Suderman prayed for me and her other grandchildren by name each day, and Nach Kommen (Plautdietsch). This means praying for those who come after. Therefore, she prayed for my great grandchildren who live now, who were not born yet, and those who come after. Generation after generation of trusting in God is a beautiful heritage for a child that brings Hope. This then is our joy to pray for those not born yet.

We desire to belong and find a place where we are loved. And in Christ Jesus, we have such a place. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself. Philippians 3:20-21.