2 Corinthians 4:7-9: 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
In a world full of challenges, for positive progress, we need this very precious virtue called hope. Every day we are exposed to bad news and issues that cause many heartaches leading to despair and loss of hope. As Kenyans we have many things that we can mention that affect our livelihoods. Starting with the high cost of living, delayed rains and other strains that may cause us to be tempted to see as if nothing good can come our way and so lose hope.
We should learn from David, who spoke to his spirit in Psalm 42, “why so downcast oh my soul? Why so disquieted within me? Hope in God!” The Lord stands with us; therefore, we never face these complex, demanding and challenging situations on our own. We have God who is our security and gives us hope, a precious gift given to us because Jesus lives.
In 2nd Corinthians 4: 7-10, Paul shows the two sides of the human experience. He gives us these four pairs of opposites; the first element of each pair characterizes frail humanity, while the second element provides evidence of God’s power. We are hard-pressed from every side but not crushed, perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed. This gives us a great sense of hope that no matter how hard the situation may be, one remains hopeful all the way.
Hebrews 6:9-12: 9 Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation. 10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
Romans 4:18: 18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
Despite many negative news and things around us, it is possible to spur one another towards hope.
When should we have hope?
Psalm 131:3 gives us a perfect answer. “Let Israel hope in the LORD from henceforth and forever.” This verse here speaks to Israel, but it can just as well speak to us as Kenyans. Hebrews 13:5 and 6 speak that we should be hopeful in our conduct. “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with things you have. For He Himself has said, ’I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ’The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’
Where should our hope be?8
Psalm 32: 12 when we allow God to be the Lord as a nation, we shall be called blessed. Even amid challenges, no one will give up and despair! Psalm 130:7 says: “Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.” Psalm 42: 5 “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
How should we hope?
Mark 5:25-28 “And a certain woman, who had an issue of blood for twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment, for she said if I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. Also, Psalm 31:24 tells us how we should hope. “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.”
Reflection Questions for discussions and application
Is it possible to remain hopeful in every situation?
What are some of the things you have allowed into your life and have stolen your hope?
How can we move from a point of hopelessness to one of hope?
Lord, our heavenly Father, we pray that you shower us with the grace to remain hopeful. “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 9
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