When Hope Seems Foolish

I wrote this post back in 2015, and although the news reports in 2018 are a little different, the need for hope remains the same.

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Hopelessness is sneaky. It erodes the hope I’m standing on, as I’m standing on it.

I feel hopeless when I watch the news. Seeing the waves of people fleeing the war in Syria, running from the unimaginable, toward the unknown. The anxious faces of children riding on the backs and shoulders of their fathers, uncles, and brothers. The fear on the adults’ faces as they are stopped by high fences and border patrols.

And the question rings out, mockingly, “Where is hope now?”

The situation is so dire that it seems foolish to even bring up the word hope. It makes more sense to let hope wash away into the darkness and allow hopelessness to take its place.

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Or so the darkness would like us to think.

The darkness does not fight fair. It hits us when we are tired, weak and worn. It whispers to our hearts, “You are just one person. How could you make a difference in this situation? There is no hope.”

But the darkness is wrong.

God has been fighting against the darkness for quite a while. He knows the darkness is convincing, so He sends out sparks of hope in the darkest of times.

He gave the first spark of hope in the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve realized the cost of that one bite of fruit, when darkness gave a victorious cry believing it had ruined God’s beautiful plan for mankind. Even then in that moment, tucked in among the tragic, world-changing consequences, God gave Adam and Eve a spark of hope, the hint of a Savior who would defeat the darkness, in Genesis 3:15.

Jeremiah 32, describes another dark time for God’s people. The Babylonian army was outside the walls of Jerusalem, marching closer every day. Defeat was certain. And God told Jeremiah to buy a piece of land.

It sounds foolish. But in a city about to be overtaken, for a people about to be carried off and scattered, in the darkest of times, God had a message of hope. He told Jeremiah to buy land and to put the deed into a clay jar because “houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land.”

So Jeremiah bought land.

This message did not erase the fall of the city, nor did it take away the violence of the invasion. but it provided a spark of hope. It sent a message that this was not the end, this was not the last chapter, and God would bring good again.

And now, all these years later, God still sends sparks of hope in the darkest of times. For the men, women and children looking for safety from a war-torn country, this is not the end. The story of their lives is still being written. This is a very dark chapter, to be sure.

The darkness would convince us that God does not see, or hear, or care because we can’t see Him working.  We can stand firm,  confident that He is. Or, in those moments when we do doubt, we can take this doubt to Him instead of blindly believing the lies of the darkness. We can cry out, even in the midst of darkness, for God to work in a mighty way.

This holds true for your life as well. As you walk through your days, do you feel doubt rise up and whisper “There is no hope?”

The darkness wants you to believe that you are without hope and powerless to change the situation. It wants to convince you that you are alone.

But the truth shines in the darkness: God is the God of hope.

And because of that, even in the darkness we can plant our feet firmly and cling to truth.  This is not the end. This is not the last chapter. God will work in this.

The darkness is as light to Him. He sees. He hears. He knows. And He will lead His people through sparks of hope.

When you find yourself surrounded by darkness, please remember

This is not the end. This is not the last chapter.

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And, my friend, you are not alone. Keep fighting for hope.

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