The Power of Hope
John Telgren

There is a powerful word in the Bible. It is a word that propels us from one day to the next. It brings the best out of us when things are at their worst. It gives us confidence, boldness and strength. It is a word that we see from the very beginning of scripture. That word is hope.

Hope is not a maybe. It is not doubt. It is not a mere wish. Biblical hope is much stronger than this. Hope is the expectation and confidence we have in a God who keeps his promises to us. According to the Bible, this hope is an "anchor for the soul, both sure and steadfast" (Heb 6:19). The foundation of our hope is in a God who does not lie, but who is faithful to his promises even when we are faithless.

What a marvelous picture of hope! An anchor. In spite of all the shifting changes, in spite of all the storms of life, we are anchored fast in our hope. Whether the storm comes in some personal tragedy, broken relationships, financial ruin, etc., our hope is firm in the Lord.

Here is what is more amazing about our hope. Fragile, broken, imperfect humans are an integral part of the world's hope. There were men like Jacob, a deceiver whom God chose to be part of his redemptive plan to save the world. Then there was Samson who was a womanizer. David was a man after God's own heart, yet he wound up an adulterer and murderer. Then there was the Apostle Peter who had foot in mouth disease. Don't forget James and John, sons of Thunder who wanted to strike people dead. Paul was a persecutor and murderer of Christians who had trouble giving people a second chance in ministry, like John Mark. There was young Timothy who may have struggled with timidity and who people may have looked down on due to his youth and inexperience. And the list goes on and on. These were all part of God's redemptive plan.

There may be shortcomings with leadership in the church. There may be problems among the members. In fact, like people we read about in scripture, we can probably come up with pages of things that are wrong with one another. Yet, it is through these clay jars that God will redeem the world. Yes, there are all kinds of blemishes in all of us. But God has forgiven them and works through us in spite of them. In fact, he often works through them.

This means there is no cause for despair, finger pointing, harsh negativity, or things of this nature. This is contrary to God. The gates of Hades will not prevail. Paul tells us that we are to let our minds dwell on "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise" (Phil 4:8).

You, with all your blemishes and problems, are part of the hope of the world. God is working through you.