Scripture Reading: Isaiah 38:1-40:31 / Galatians 2:11-3:9 / Psalm 107:33-43
Hope is a positive feeling that believes and trusts that all things will turn out for the best. It’s when a person looks forward to something with great desire and confidence. I remember watching the Heinz Ketchup commercial where a young boy watches for the ketchup to ooze out of the bottle while the song “anticipation” is being sung. The boy waits patiently with much hope as the slow, thick ketchup finally plops out of the bottle!
Hope sustains and encourages us when things aren’t positive or looking good. Isaiah speaks of a hope that man has not in circumstances or themselves but in God. God has a divine promise for those who hope in Him, “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
Life has a way of depleting our strength and leaving us drained and overwhelmed. As we age, we experience the reality of our frailness yet the vitality of youth will also succumb to weariness and weakness. Isaiah says, “Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall.” (40:30) Man is not invincible and there is a limit to their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual strength.
Isaiah speaks of God’s intervening strength within man when they reach the point of hopelessness and defeat. God supernaturally empowers men with a renewed strength that allows them to overcome life’s heaviest attacks. He energizes man with the strength of an eagle to rise above the storm clouds of life. The eagle adjusts their wings and uses the destructive winds to give them lift above the storm. The winds that are designed to destroy; enable the eagle to soar!
When life becomes a frantic sprint or a grueling marathon, God supplies us with spiritual electrolytes that far surpass any energizer bunny…we just keep on going. Whatever difficult, rocky, or challenging path we find ourselves on, His promise is to direct our every step and sustain us with the breath of His Spirit.
There is always the presence of doubt or uncertainty in life and if we give them an opportunity to overwhelm us, hope will be replaced by despair. . We do not hope that life will be good or easy but our hope is in The Lord who overcomes all things. Life’s circumstances are secondary because God is greater than the things of life. We hope in the One who intervenes in our lives…circumstances included!
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!