Change and renewal – the power of hope

Blue Run blog – exploring the faith

2015-21.3 WEDNESDAY, MAY 20, 2015

angry motorist

Isaiah 40:31 ...Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

TODAY'S post builds on the idea we saw in the opening stanzas of Psalm 103: God our Father is in the business of renewing us, and putting back in what the world, the flesh and the devil steals or crushes.

The life around us is often not lifegiving. I had a little experience of that this week. Recently having moved back to the outskirts of a busy town after a time in quite a secluded country situation, the difference is seen most in the traffic. Everyone is competing with everyone else to get somewhere, and everyone is impatient. I stopped during a turn left into an industrial estate because people were walking across the junction and within a couple of seconds someone behind was hooting.

Every day we are exposed to the criticism and blame that is flying around and we cannot help being affected by the negativity of others. So when things aren't going well, all too easily we fall into the trap of reacting the same way. Hope melts away and we start despairing, blaming others and being critical.

The verse of the Bible that's speaking to us today talks about hoping in the Lord, and therefore renewing strength, getting an eagle's eye view and having new energy to keep on keeping on.

Christians take the Bible as more than timeless literature, but as God's thoughts, and by extension, what God may be saying to us personally – particularly if something stands out to us. God gets our attention through His word. He has plenty of other ways, but everything coms back to His Word. It is what He has said, it is Him revealing Himself. And what He says to us in our situations now is going to be in line with what He has already said.

He has said that those who have hope in Him – meaning those who have a confident expectation in Him – will get this lifegiving transfusion. Hope is not the same as faith, but it's heading in the same direction. Hope is more general, and it is based on knowing God's goodness and love.

"If God is for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31), Paul wrote to the persecuted church He was encouraging in Rome. Christians in Iraq and Syria would know what is was like. Our Father doesn't send bad stuff our way. Tt is the nature of the battle we are in, a battle which is real enough, but our confident expectation is that God is for us and indeed with us. That is basic level everyone-can-do-it hoping in the Lord and it is powerful.

PRAYER: Father God, I want to affirm to You and the heavenly realm that I know You enough to know that You are good and You have good intentions for me, to prosper me and not to harm me. You are in it with me. And so I put my hope, my confident expectation in You. Let that hope in You be a solid foundation for more specific faith to grow. In Jesus' name, Amen.