A Great Big Cup of Hope
Updated: Feb 6, 2023
This last weekend I was able to have coffee with the most amazing women I know. The picture above reminds me of them because we are each as different as these cups of coffee. You won't be surprised to know that we were meeting at a coffee shop, of course, for our monthly book club session. During our monthly get togethers, we update each other on what's going on in our lives and families, we laugh a bit about crazy things that have been happening and we discuss the chapters of a book we are reading in order to continue our relationships with and be closer to our great God.
During this meeting we dared to ask each other intimate questions because we were studying that good friends should be able to share intimate details of their lives in order for the relationship to be strong and fulfilling. To my surprise, some of my close friends are looking to God for hope. In fact, during the last few weeks many of my interactions with friends and acquaintances have centered around hope, be it the lack of hope or the need for hope.
Our world right now is in a place of discomfort, uncertainty, and unknown. All of this can lead many people to hopelessness. But, I am here to tell you, straight from God's word that all of this crazy uncertainty, whether it is sickness, job loss, the cost of gas and groceries, death, or marital problems, Jesus took on to the point of death. He took on this brokenness to the point of death. His word says "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you: and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you: when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you." (Isa. 43:2 ESV). Max Lucado puts it this way in his book Made for this Moment, "His death gave birth to our life. He arose from the dead and is recreating our world and invites all of us to be part of it." This is why He died for us. He died so we could have the hope that we so desire during difficult times. He is the only hope we can have during difficult times. Nothing of this world can get us through the troubles we will go through. Nothing in this world can bring us a peace that can only come from hope in Jesus.
In Mark 7: 24-30 there is a story of a gentile woman whose daughter was living with evil spirits. Because she was a gentile and a women she had many strikes against her. When she spoke to Jesus and asked him for help, it appeared as if He wasn't even listening to her and replied, it seemed, only to his disciples saying, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel," meaning he was only there for the Jews. But the woman's faith and hope in Jesus caused her to push forward with demanding his help. She cried out to Him as the Son of David, as Lord, forcing Him to respond and so He said, “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” This comment that seemed to be against her would not deter her so, she used His own words against Him to prove to her she had faith in what He could do for her. She replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” She was asking for the tiniest crumb of hope from Him that he could heal her daughter. Because of her faith, He did exactly that.
Where is your hope placed in the circumstances you are struggling with today? Is your hope placed in a world that is steeped in sin? Is it
placed in the hope that if YOU just do something, things will get better? Is it placed in buying something new in hopes this purchase will make things better? Is it placed in hanging out with people that are not in tune with God's word, hoping they will lead you to a life that is free from struggles and stress?
One of my great friends is holding on to the hope in Jesus Christ for the medical problems her son is facing that are chronic in nature. Her young pre-teen son, who is so full of life, is facing a life time of pain that is slowing taking the gleam from his eyes. Yet, her choice is to find complete hope in healing from Jesus Christ.
This brought to mind 2 Corinthians 1:9 when Paul and his followers were in dire straights. They had come into some trouble where they had lost all hope and ability to hold onto their own lives. They were helpless and forced to put all their hope in God. Suffering can do the same for any believer, removing whatever we falsely hope in and landing all our hope in the powerful God we trust.
I met with a new friend a few weeks ago who had just lost her long time boyfriend to suicide. When we met she had absolutely no hope. She just wasn't able to find hope in a world where her greatest love was taken from her by his own hand. She had guilt. She had resentment. She had lost any peace she felt. As we talked it was revealed to her that in the last week four different people, including me, had invited her to the same church. I saw a hope in her eyes when she said, "God must really want me back." Indeed he does. And he delights in those who put their hopes in His unfailing love. (Ps. 147:11). He is delighted that she attended church with me on Sunday.
When we cannot find a way to get through the struggles we are inundated with, the only thing we have is the hope in Jesus Christ. He is the only way. He is the redeemer that will take you through the struggles. He is the God who will fill you with joy and peace so that you may overflow with hope.
Will you put your hope in Him today? Call out to your loving God and seek Him by name. He will hear you and He will answer and bring you hope. A Great Big Cup of Hope!