Where is your Hope?

 Recently, an advertisement for an upcoming television documentary caught my attention. The host, who by the way is a very successful television journalist, announced that “the vaccine is our hope.”

What ?!?

Now, I’m not saying that the vaccine is not wonderful and going to be very helpful in ending this pandemic, and I’m very glad my parents, in-laws, and all my favorite seniors will be able to participate again in life. However, if we place our hope in worldly things, we are bound to live a life dictated by our circumstances. Personally, after a year like 2020, I’m not planning to put my hope in the temporal things of this world.

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the Glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2.

Somehow, we have got to stop looking to the world for our peace, for our joy, for all of those eternal treasures that only come from God. My youngest son plays soccer A LOT, and like everyone, we prefer a win over a loss. But sometime in the fall the losses started piling up. He was playing on his club team, his middle school team, and in one JV game. Y’all, his teams lost every one of the games that first week, and then the streak continued. But I will tell you I never once saw my sweet boy give up (okay, “sweet” might be wishful thinking). He genuinely believed they would win. If you question me, ask the parents, players, and coaches. My guy never stops encouraging his teammates. Okay, some may call it shouting, and perhaps the refs would prefer he not assist them, but one thing is clear he has passion, and he believes in the impossible. Because when you are down by seven goals with one minute to play, most people give up hope, and y’all that was most of his season. I’m not saying he wasn’t disappointed, or he had some great spiritual revelation, but he did not let his circumstances control his attitude.

And y’all, I did something I rarely do during the last soccer tournament. I asked God for a win. Maybe you think that’s wrong, and maybe you think that God wouldn’t get involved in something like club soccer. But since I asked for just one win, there have been three wins. And while the two wins for the club team were nice, the win for the middle school team against a team that dominated them only a week before, I’m calling that a divine lesson in perseverance. The kind of perseverance that only God can engineer. The kind of win that reminds us that while it is fun to win, our hope must remain with God.

“We also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Romans 5:3-5.

We all have struggles. We all must wait, but I choose to put my trust in God. The struggles and waiting grow our faith, so we know that what we truly hope for is an eternal life with God. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight,” and hopefully, your balls will go straight into the goal. (Proverbs 3:5-6) But even when you feel like you are losing in this life, remember “that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

Friends, I pray that the Holy Spirit will fill you with eternal hope. How else can I pray for you?

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