Hunting for hope in scripture is the first in a series of posts I plan to share over the next couple of months. These posts will feature a condensed written version of the Facebook Live seven-day Hope Hunt I recorded in May.
When God led me to these seven avenues to find hope, I never imagined we’d still be neck-deep in the pandemic, with a host of equally intense struggles added on top of it. We need hope now more than ever!
If you prefer the video version, which goes into a bit more depth, you can find week one’s hunt here.
HOPELESSNESS AND FEAR
I don’t know about you, but I’ve witnessed a lot of hopelessness and fear in the news and on social media. We’ve never lived through anything like what we’re experiencing through this pandemic and the unrest in our country.
People are scared. Many have lost loved ones. Lost their jobs. Some have lost their businesses. The struggle for some to pay their bills and even buy food is real. I would never discount their pain or make light of it, but we have an answer to the madness.
In every situation, no matter how small or how dire our need, God is still our source of hope. And the number one way God speaks to us is through scripture. That’s why I chose hunting for hope in Scripture as our first focus.
If we’re feeling hopeless, going to God’s Word is our first step. Throughout the pages of His Word, He assures that when we’re hurting, we’re in good company.
EXAMPLES IN SCRIPTURE
Look at Job, who experienced more loss in a few day’s time than most experience in a lifetime.
Consider David, who ran and hid in caves from enemies who wanted to kill him. And his anguish over the sin he committed with Bathsheba.
And poor Joseph, whose own brothers sold him into slavery and was then imprisoned because of Pharoah’s wife’s false accusations.
Lastly, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were close friends of Jesus’ but Lazarus still died.
Much of what I’ve endured doesn’t come close to their circumstances.
But even in their dire situations, each of them found hope through the Lord.
After Job suffered unimaginable loss and pain, he spoke to God in chapter 42 verse 5 and declared: “I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.”
God used everything Job went through to grow Job’s intimacy with Him.
David wrote Psalm 18 after the Lord delivered him from the hand of Saul and his enemies. I suggest you read the entire chapter, but for now, we’ll look at verses16-19.
“He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.”
And what about Joseph? Genesis 41:41-42 tells us, “So Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.’ Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck.”
If you’re familiar with the story, you’ll remember that not only did God rescue Joseph from prison and put him in charge in Egypt, he restored his relationship with his brothers.
And I’m sure most of you know what happened with Lazarus when Jesus showed up. If not, listen to John 11:33-34: “Jesus called in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.”
LESSONS OF HOPE IN SCRIPTURE
So, what can we learn from these, and many other, Biblical accounts?
We’ll all experience painful circumstances, but God is at work behind the scenes in ways we can’t see. He’s got a plan in our pain, and through it, He is refining and preparing us for what’s next.
But remember, the people God delivered in the Bible endured years of suffering most times. They weren’t automatically taken out of their hard circumstance.
Many times God doesn’t deliver us FROM our pain, He delivers us THROUGH our pain.
God weaves our stories into a beautiful tapestry when the joys and sorrows of life mingle together, build our character, and make us useful for our Master.
And friends, no matter how hard this life, the promise of eternity with Jesus can more than carry us to the end with hope.
Join the conversation. Sometime today or tomorrow, search in your bible for scriptures about the hope we have available to us in Christ. If you don’t have a Bible, you can download the YouVersion Bible app or use the translation of your choice on BibleGateway.com. Once you find a scripture that gives you hope, drop the reference in the comments to encourage all of us.
Have you been encouraged through this time of hunting for hope in scripture? If so, please share this post on social media to strengthen others!
For more encouragement, check out this post from March 2020.