“One night at dinner, a man fascinated his friends by telling of his experiences in a little town called Flagstaff, Maine, a place where he spent many summers. The town was scheduled to be flooded as part of a large lake that was being built. In the months before it was to be flooded, all improvements and repairs in the whole town were stopped. What was the point of painting a house when it would be covered with water in six months? Why repair anything when the whole village was to be wiped out? So, as the weeks went by, the whole town became more and more unkempt, desolate, and sad. The man added by way of explanation: “Where there is no faith in the future, there is no power in the present” (Halford E. Luccock, Unfinished Business).
What a powerful statement. There are times when it feels like life is stacked against us. There are times when nothing seems to go our way. There are times when the storms of life are raging. In these moments, it’s easy to lose faith in the future. We lose faith that life will get better. Beyond all else, what we have really lost is hope.
When we lose hope that the future will improve, it’s hard to stay motivated for the present. We wonder why we should even try. We doubt that our efforts will make much of a difference anyway. Life, both present and future, seems hopeless.
This is what makes following God so wonderful. God offers us true hope! No, He won’t make us millionaires, or put us in powerful positions. In fact, all people, including those who follow God, will have times when the storms of life rage. Even Jesus and His disciples endured some of the most difficult persecutions in history. The hope God offers is spiritual hope.
God’s hope includes a future of eternal happiness in heaven (Revelation 21:4). His hope includes a fresh start spiritually (Romans 6:3-4; 2 Corinthians 5:17). His hope brings forgiveness of sins, no matter how bad or how many (Acts 2:36-38). His hope brings salvation (1 Peter 3:21). Since God cannot lie, this is a hope that we can expect with full confidence (Hebrews 6:17-19). What a loving and compassionate God He is to offer us something like this!
No matter how difficult life becomes. No matter what challenges we face. If we will follow God and place our hope in him, we will not be disappointed (Romans 5:5). All that God asks in return is obedience (Matthew 7:21-23; James 1:22-25). What a small price to pay for forgiveness and eternal happiness. Let’s follow the Lord and put our hope in Him!