Hope On


Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

As I sit down to begin this article, I’m having trouble focusing.  It just seems that with all that has taken place this week I’m in a bit of a struggle.  The cold is something that I don’t handle well.  Then with the snow it made it a bit tougher.  It was so nice that on Saturday it warmed up enough to get the snow off the sidewalks and parking lot at the church.

Yet what I was experiencing went beyond the snow and cold.  It was how my body reacted to all that had gone on.  My hands, back and shoulders hurt from the shoveling that I did.  I don’t want to sound like a wimp, but sometimes the truth just comes out.

I was originally concerned with how the weather would impact our services.  I told Vicki that I hoped things would clear off and everything would come together so that our services on Sunday would take place.

I then began to think about hope.  You know we can hope for some silly things at times, but I just hoped that everyone would be able to get out and be safe.  I hoped that in the midst of all that had taken place, people would just come together for worship and be able to experience what God had for us.

Hope seems to be something that is so hard to hold on to at times.  It’s not all that hard when things are going well, but when they seem to fall apart, hope seems to begin slipping.  I like the way G. K. Chesterton, a Christian apologist and author, put it.  He said:

“Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances which we know to be desperate.  It is true that there is a state of hope which belongs to bright prospects and the morning; but that is not the virtue of hope.  The virtue of hope exists only in earthquake and eclipse... For practical purposes it is at the hopeless moment that we require the hopeful man, and the virtue either does not exist at all, or begins to exist at that moment.  Exactly at the instant when hope ceases to be reasonable it begins to be useful.”

Paul wrote in Rom. 8:24-25 --- 24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. 

The first verse of ‘The Solid Rock” says “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.”  Then the second verse says – “When darkness veils his lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace; In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.”

As we place our faith in Jesus, we are able to find hope even in the midst of the difficult trials we face in life.  It’s like Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 4:10 – “For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.”

Again, it is easy to walk with hope when everything is going well.  But as we place our faith in God, we can walk with hope that will carry us through the times that overwhelm us.  Trust God to be there in the midst of all that takes place and let Him lead you to the place of hope in your life.

He won’t ever forsake you; I promise you.  So hope on!

JESUS, JESUS, JESUS, there IS something about that name!!

Christ only, always,

Bro. Paul

Brother Paul Nachtigall is the preacher at Highland Baptist Church. He can be reached at bropaul@centramedia.net.