This article is being written up in 10/2/09. As I am writing up this article, both our country and many of the other countries around the world are battling severe recessions.
The unemployment rate in our country has now ticked up to 9.8%, with actual real estimates being more in the range of 13-15%. This means that at least 1 out of every 10 people in our country are now unemployed, not to mention all of the unemployed people across the rest of the world.
Nothing can shake people more to their cores than losing their jobs and the daily income that job was providing for them and their families.
People have literally committed suicide over the years as a result of losing their jobs, as part of their identities as to who they were as people were tied into what they did on their daily jobs.
As a result, nothing can throw some people faster into a depression and a pit of despair than losing their job.
But whether it be the loss of a job or any other kind of storm cloud that can hit you full force in this life, the one thing that we as Christians can never lose besides our faith and trust in the Lord, is also our HOPE IN THE LORD during these trying times.
Lose all hope with what God can do to correct your trying circumstances and you could easily sink into a heavy pit of despair, depression, and hopelessness.
Hope is your light at the end of the tunnel.
Hope is the anticipation and expectation that God will eventually turn everything around and bring you up out of the storm cloud that you may have just fallen into.
Lose your hope in God and what He can still miraculously do to handle your current crisis, and your faith and trust levels in Him could sink right along with it.
Here are some very good definitions as to what hope really is in the Lord from some of the different Bible Dictionaries and Commentaries:
- Reliance on God’s blessing and provision; the expectation of future good
- Anticipation of a favorable outcome under God’s guidance
- Expectation, something yearned for and anticipated eagerly
- Something for which one waits, to wait for, to look hopefully
- An expectation or belief in the fulfillment of something desired
- Trustful expectation, particularly with reference to the fulfillment of God’s promises
- Confidence that what God has done for us in the past guarantees our participation in what God will do in the future
I cannot stress enough how powerful of a thing hope really is if you are ever forced to take on a heavier type of storm cloud in this life.
For some, it will be the difference as to whether or not they make it all the way through the storm cloud.
Lose your hope in the Lord and you could literally end up dying in your storm cloud, depending on the severity of the storm cloud you are going through. Keep your hope up and alive in the Lord, and you will eventually make it to the end, where your deliverance will be right there waiting for you from the Lord.
As we said in our article, “Trials and Tribulations – The Testing of Your Faith,” both believers as well as nonbelievers will go through a certain amount of trials and tribulations in this life due to the fact that we are still living in a fallen and cursed world as a result of the curse that Adam and Eve have brought down upon this earth.
But as Christians, we have already something that the nonbeliever does not have on his side – and that is God Almighty Himself, who has the full power to be able to completely deliver us from any type of heavy storm clouds that may come our way in this life.
The Bible tells us that absolutely nothing is impossible with our Lord, which includes Him being able to help us handle any type of major storm cloud that could come our way at a moment’s notice, like the sudden loss of your job without any type of advance notice from your employer.
This means as Christians we always have to keep our faith and trust levels up in the Lord, no matter how bleak and how hopeless things may appear to us in the natural.
That is why the apostle Paul calls our walk with the Lord a “fight of faith.”
At times, we have to fight to keep our faith levels up in the Lord, especially when we are forced to deal with a heavier type of storm cloud like the sudden loss of our job.
However, in addition to keeping our faith and trust levels up in the Lord, we also need to keep our hope levels up in the Lord.
Hope is like the icing on the cake, with our faith and trust levels in the Lord being the cake.
Hope gives you the visual in your mind’s eye that you have a light at the end of your storm cloud tunnel. And that light at the end of the tunnel is your deliverance – it is your breakthrough with the Lord.
It is what will bring you out of the storm cloud that may have just come your way.
If you have just lost your job, that light at the end of the tunnel is your next new job in the Lord.
When faced with any kind of adversity in this life, just remember to add hope in with your faith and trust levels in the Lord.
If you do, then you will have a three-fold cord that will help keep you fully intact during the trial so you can make it all the way to the finish line where God’s deliverance will then be right there waiting for you.
But lose your hope in the Lord anywhere along that line, and your faith and trust levels could fall right along side your loss of hope, and you could then end up handcuffing God in being able to get you to the finish line where your full and final deliverance will be right there waiting for you.
Sometimes when you lose your hope, you will quit trying. And if you quit trying and walk off the playing field, then God may pull back and not try and work with you anymore.
That is why it is extremely dangerous if you ever get to the point where you quit trying and fighting with the Lord. Many times, God is working through your fighting and trying efforts. But quit fighting and trying and you may end up giving God no other alternative to pull back on you.
If you have just lost your job, you will now have to seek and search for that next new job. And as you are going into that seeking mode with the Lord to find that next new job, then God will fully guide your steps right into that next new job He will want you to have at the prescribed time that He will want you to have it.
But if you quit seeking and searching for that next new job, then God will not be able to lead you to that next job because you have now just taken yourself off His playing field and have now placed yourself on the bench.
God can only work with you if you are still out there on that playing field trying to play and win, not if you are sitting on the bench wallowing in your own self-pity.
That is why you can never lose your faith, hope, and trust in the Lord – never! You can only win in this life with the Lord if you stay on that playing field and keep pressing on.
Take yourself off God’s playing field for your life for whatever reason, and you could end up getting yourself thrown right out of the rest of your divine destiny in Him.
You saw what happened to the children of Israel in the wilderness setting with Moses.
All of the men 20 years of age and older lost their one and only chance to enter into the Promised Land, all because they did not have enough faith and belief in the Lord that He could overcome and defeat all of the giants and strongholds they saw in that land.
The rest of their earthly divine destiny was completely wiped out in one brief moment of despair and lack of faith and belief in the Lord.
Do not let the same thing ever happen to you if you are ever forced to take on a heavier type of storm cloud in this life.
On part 2 of this article on power of hope, I will give you some very good verses from Scripture to show you how powerful of a thing it can be for you if you will also add hope into your faith and belief that you have already established with the Lord.
The Bible Verses On The Power of Hope
Here are some of the better verses on hope from the Bible. I will go ahead and run all of them together for you.
- “… in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began …” (Titus 1:2)
- “And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You. Deliver me from all my transgressions.” (Psalm 39:7)
- “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)
- “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)
- “… rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer …” (Romans 12:12)
- “… if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard …” (Colossians 1:23)
- “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)
- “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” (1 John 3:3)
- “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” (1 Corinthians 15:19)
- “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, then we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” (Romans 8:24-25)
- “… who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.” (Romans 4:18-21)
- “And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation.” (2 Corinthians 1:7)
- “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5)
- “… looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ …” (Titus 2:13)
- “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.” (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)
- “… for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.” (Hebrews 7:19)
- “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:19-20)
- “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2)
- “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
As you study these verses from Scripture, you can really tell that the Lord is trying to drive home the point that we also add hope into our belief system with Him. I cannot tell you how adding the positive element of hope into whatever type of trial you may be going through will really help in keeping your head and chin up, and your faith and trust levels from dipping too low with the Lord.
Notice the following in all of the above verses:
- That our hope should always be directly in God the Father and Jesus Christ and the eternal life that God is promising all of us up in heaven – not in ourselves or in any of our temporary current situations, as they are all for a very brief moment in the big-picture, eternal scheme of things.
- That trials and tribulations in our life can actually help produce the ability in us to hope in the Lord, because we will find out very quickly when going through any type of severe trial, that only Jesus Christ is our true hope in this life, not ourselves or anyone else in our lives.
- And not only must we learn how to have hope in the Lord, but we must also learn how to relax, rejoice, and become steadfast in that hope, allowing it to become an actual anchor of our soul, since it is such a pure and sure thing from the Lord. If God is on our side and working with us, then we can have full assurance and confidence that He will eventually work out and solve any trials that we may have to go through in this life.
- Also notice the verse about Abraham where it says that “in hope believed,” and as a result of Abraham not wavering in his faith and belief in God, he became the father of many nations. In other words, Abraham was combining hope with his faith and belief in God, and that was why he was able to fully accomplish the divine destiny that God had set out for him to walk into.
Once you step back and really look at the big picture, this life is very, very short, and sooner or later we are all going to die and cross over to the other side. And when we do, all of our trials and tribulations will fall off us like a heavy sack of potatoes.
As the Bible is telling us in the above verses, our hope should be entirely in God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the incredible glorious afterlife.
They have prepared for all of us who have been truly born again. This one fact alone should help keep our hope operating at very high levels with the Lord as we journey through this earthly life, since we all know exactly what our final ending and destination is going to be when it is all finally said and done.
Remember, if you have just lost your job, put a vision in your mind’s eye of a light at the end of that tunnel. That light at the end of that tunnel is Jesus holding your next new job right in the palm of His hand. And keep that vision front and center in your mind’s eye as you start seeking and searching for that next new job.
If you do, then God will fully guide your steps into that next new job. Your faith, hope, and trust in the Lord will help keep you going as you start looking for that next next job, and it will also help prevent you from falling into any kind of despair or depression until you find that job – because your faith, hope, and trust will be fully in the Lord, not in yourself, your family or friends, or your present set of circumstances.
Hoping in the Lord will also apply to any other kinds of trials you could end up facing in this life, like battling any kind of a severe illness, severe addictions, any type of marital or financial problems, or waiting for God to bring your true soul mate into your life.
Again, hope is the anticipation and expectation that God will eventually work out everything for His own good, and that He will fully take up your current crisis and properly handle it for you if you will only believe and have enough faith, trust, and hope that He will do this for you.
It really is that simple.
Your job will then be to do exactly what God tells you to do as you start to walk through the trial.
If you do, then you will eventually reach the end of the trial, and you will then be able to walk right into the light at the end of that tunnel, which will be your full, final, and complete deliverance from that trial.
Our God is still a God of big miracles, even in the jaded and skeptical times that we are all now living in.
All you have to do is believe and have faith, hope, and trust in the Lord. How many times would Jesus ask someone, before He would attempt to heal them, if they believed and had enough faith in Him that He could actually heal them?
This same scenario is still in full play today for every single believer. The times may have changed from the days of the Bible, but God has not changed, nor has He changed any of His ways.
What God and Jesus did back in both the Old and New Testaments, They can still do today for every single born-again believer – if we will only have enough faith and belief.
They will actually work with us, no matter how tough, how trying, and how hopeless things may appear to us in the natural with whatever kind of hard trial we may be going through.