Bible Society of South Africa

Faith and hope – 20 October 2022

By Ewald Schmidt

Bible text(s)

24For it was by hope that we were saved; but if we see what we hope for, then it is not really hope. For which of us hopes for something we see? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Romans 8:24-25GNBOpen in Bible reader

Every one of us has experienced difficult times in our lives. No person can always sidestep the huge challenges of being human, with all the choices we have to make in life. What keeps us grounded when the storms of life are gathering around us? What will make me come out stronger on the other side of this challenge that I am facing now? Two very important anchors in the storms of life is to know who I am and to know where I am going.

Paul reminds us that we are saved! We are now the children of God, by faith; the Spirit of God bears witness to this fact in our hearts. We live in a world that is groaning in anticipation of God’s intervention to heal the brokenness and renew what was lost by darkness. We also groan in anticipation, we also know suffering in this world. However, one of God’s most precious gifts, helping us to cope and to endure everything, is hope!

Hope is a word that lost some meaning in the day-to-day use of the word. We also use the word to express a very small chance that something might happen – “I hope I win the lotto …” In its most glorious form, it is a mighty word! It is the certainty of the destiny where God is leading me. I am God’s child and I am on my way with him on the journey of life. The destination at the end of my time on earth is an eternity with Jesus, in his Father’s house. This is what Jesus taught us in John 14:2.

The sun might be setting, the darkness of night might be creeping closer and I cannot yet see the brightness of tomorrow’s sunrise. However, I know it will come at the right time tomorrow. Tonight may be very dark and I may be very scared of the darkness around me, but sunrise is surely on the way. Tomorrow there will be new light. When we are troubled by the darkness of this world, today’s verse encourages us to endure, to trust in God. You will see the new day!

Winston Churchill said, during one of the darkest periods of World War II, “If you are going through hell, keep on going!”

Faith reminds me that I am God’s child, even in this dark world. Hope ensures me that my future is safe in his hands, even if today is difficult. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:13 that God’s greatest gifts to his children are faith, hope and love. With these gifts, we will make it through the night!

Prayer: Lord, thank you that my identity is safe in you – I am your child by faith! Thank you for the gift of hope, helping me to endure and thrive in difficult times. My future is secure because Christ lives! Amen

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