Hope Story by @deenamadams
Hunting for Hope in History is the fourth of seven in a series of posts that feature a condensed written version of the Facebook Live seven-day Hope Hunt I recorded in May.
If you prefer the more in depth video version, you can find it here.
Hope & Faith
I believe hunting for hope goes hand in hand with faith because if we don’t have faith in God; we have no hope at all. One way we can foster hope is to trace God’s hand throughout history.
Romans 15:4 says, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”
So, let’s look at Hebrews chapter eleven, the Hall of Faith, and consider a couple of examples to help us endure when life is hard.
First, what about Noah? God told Noah to build an ark because He was going to destroy the earth with a flood. According to an article on Answers in Genesis it took anywhere from 55 to 75 years for Noah to construct the ark.
Can you imagine spending that many years building a boat on dry land when it had never rained? Talk about endurance. And Noah’s obedience preserved mankind.
In verses 8-10 we read about Abraham’s family. We can’t begin to imagine what Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob endured in their obedience to God. But God used them as a huge part of His ultimate plan to redeem humanity.
Because of their faithfulness, we also have the same hope as Abraham and can confidently look forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God. That gives me hope. What about you?
And think about Moses, a Hebrew who grew up in the house and family of Pharaoh. God called Moses to deliver His people from bondage and lead them to the Promised Land.
These examples encourage us to keep our eyes on Jesus and our future home in heaven.
We could name one person after another in the old and new testament alike, who were faithful and endured unspeakable violence, hardship, and evil.
But they all had a few things in common.
The difficulties turned their weakness to strength, they placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection, and they all earned a good reputation because of their faith.
These heroes changed the course of history because of their trust in God and obedience to Him. Because of them, we can have hope in this life, no matter what comes our way.
What about people in history aside from biblical characters?
Corrie Ten Boom
Let’s consider Corrie Ten Boom, member of a Dutch family arrested during WWII for hiding Jews from the Germans. Corrie and her sister, Betsie, were eventually sent to a concentration camp. About ten months after their arrest, Betsie died, and Corrie was mistakenly released fifteen days later.
In Corrie’s book, “The Hiding Place,” she recounts many ways God sustained them as they endured horrific conditions and how He even blessed them through a flea infestation that kept the guards out of their barracks.
Corrie’s strength to forgive the guards who tortured them serves as a lesson to all of us. And her willingness to tell their story has led countless lives to Christ.
And I have to mention Mother Teresa. This Roman Catholic nun devoted her life to ministering to the destitute around the world and spent many years in the slums of Calcutta, India. She founded the Missionaries of Charity, a religious congregation devoted to helping those in great need.
Can you imagine the number of people who went from hopelessness to hope because of this woman’s sacrifice and surrender to God’s purpose for her life? She changed history through her service.
And the last woman we’ll talk about who championed hope in history is Harriet Tubman. Harriet escaped slavery in eastern Maryland in 1849 and wasn’t satisfied with just her own freedom, but delivered at least 300 fellow slaves. She earned the nickname, “Moses,” because of her work to set people free.
Harriet claimed she would listen to the voice of God as she led slaves north, and would only go where she felt God was leading her.
These three women stand as testimonies that even in the worst of situations, God is at work and brings good from the pain when we continue to look to Him and don’t give up.
I found this true in my own life.
If you want to hear about my family’s experience in San Francisco during the 1989 6.9 magnitude earthquake, and how God used it to drastically change our lives, you’ll find it in the video version of the Hope Hunt. And I have plans to write a short story about that event to offer for free to email subscribers.
We have a choice to dwell on the calamities throughout history, or focus on the one eternal purpose devastating events have in common … Many have turned to Jesus because of them.
So, during the current chaos and a future full of uncertainty, I pray we’ll look back through history and cling to hope that God is working. And years down the road, I believe many people will share their testimony about how they came to Christ during 2020.
Join the conversation. Jesus is our ultimate hope, but is there someone else in history whose example gives you hope today? It can be a bible character, someone in ancient history, or even recent history. Comment and let us know.
If you don’t answer God’s call on your life, will history change? Check out this post for encouragement.