When you see all the things that are happening around us, it is easy to lose hope. Terrorism, greed, robbery, deceit, ruthlessness, power craziness, stealth etc, etc … . Those who practice these have their own reasons to justify their actions, usually because the circumstances they are in warrant it. Sure. But, I still see no honour in it.
I just see people finding excuses not to do the honourable thing. Because they won’t do the honourable thing, the rest of us suffer or, at least, have to adjust to and accept what we don’t believe in or agree with. Those of us of faith pray and pray for things to get better, but it doesn’t. When our prayers are unanswered, we can get disillusioned; does God hear us?
It’s a state I have been for a little while. Thinking about these things, however, I recalled a verse I learnt off by heart when I was young: “… and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (NASB) In some of the newer versions, it says “hope does not put us to shame”.
How do I believe this when I am not hopeful? Well, I choose to trust God despite my lack of hope. If God is God, surely He is not at my beck and call in that every request of mine must be answered in the way I determine it? In many situations, He answered as I asked. When He didn’t, do I give up trusting and believing in Him? I realised I shouldn’t and that was when I chose to put my hope in Him again.
And, accepting the realities wasn’t so bad! After a while, I realised that it really isn’t so hopeless a situation. There were other options — better ones — that I could focus on and that gave a lot of hope to make up for those that I had very little hope for. Somehow, I didn’t feel so hopeless even if my prayers weren’t answered!
Perhaps that is what “hope does not disappoint us” means. We trust God even when it seems like He is not answering. And, despite the hopelessness of some situations, we, somehow, can keep going and remain still hopeful.