Holding on to Hope in an Uncertain World

George WrightGeorge Wright

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4

Hope is hardwired into our DNA. It is a longing of every human heart and is expressed in a variety of life situations. From the mundane – I hope we have tacos for dinner. To the serious – I hope he doesn’t walk out on me and the kids. The question is not if we look for hope, but where we look for hope.

Ask yourself, “Where do I really look for hope?”

  • A political party or government?
  • A relationship or individual?
  • Economic stability or financial security?

These are all well and good, but none were ever meant to be the ultimate source of our hope. The recent tumultuous events in our world have reminded us that the places we often look for hope aren’t as sturdy as they seem.

Biblically speaking, hope is rooted and grounded in God. It’s not just wishful thinking or positivity. It’s a confident expectation in who God is and what He has done for us.

Most of us like the idea of looking to God as our source of hope, especially in times of trouble. Have you ever heard the quote, “There are no atheists in the trenches (of war)?” When facing the possibility of death or peril, many reach out to God for help. Unfortunately, we often struggle to live it out in everyday life.

Paul gives us some very practical advice: Read the Scriptures. It’s not a rocket-science concept, but how many of us are actually doing it?

You see, the word of God has been given to us for our instruction, for our endurance and encouragement when life becomes difficult, so that we experience every day, the hope we have through Christ Jesus. But it’s hard to remain hopeful when your Bible remains closed.

Here’s a question I’ve really been wrestling with: “Am I consuming the Bible in the same way I consume content on my devices?”

A convicting question in our technology-addicted society, right? Now, I’m not saying you can’t ever watch Netflix, ESPN+, or scroll through social media. But what if we took half the time that we currently spend on our devices and replaced it with content from the word of God that provides encouragement and hope?

There is no shortage of content that flows from the word of God. In fact, we have access to more encouraging, hope-filled, Biblically grounded content than any other people in the history of the world! Music, Bible studies, podcasts, sermons, devotionals…there are all kinds of resources flowing out of the encouragement of the word of God.

So, what should we do about it?

  • Eat it up!
  • Dive in!
  • Swim in the ocean of hope contained in the Word of God!
  • Replace the content that is fueling discouragement, fear, division, and hopelessness with content that has been given to you for encouragement and hope!

I bet if we did these things, our perspective on life would change and our attitude toward others would dramatically improve.

What do you think?
Why not give it a try?

You’ll find that faith in Jesus Christ and the reading of God’s Word is the place to find eternal, life-changing hope!

But don’t just take my word for it. Let’s take a look at Psalm and see what God’s word has to say about where unfailing hope is found.

“Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! For he spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm.” Psalm 33:8,9

These verses remind us that God is our Creator.

What does the doctrine of creation have to do with hope? If Earth is just a result of some random explosion and human beings come from a genetic mutation over millions of years with no Divine Creator orchestrating it all, then we have every reason to completely lose hope.

On the other hand, if the world was created by the power and authority of a word spoken by our Creator, then we have a basis for hope. Underneath all of the chaos and brokenness we experience, we can trust that there is a Divine blueprint.

“The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.” Psalm 33:11

The Psalmist here reminds us that God is sovereign and in control.

On the days when it appears the world is spiraling out of control, this is a verse that puts my soul at ease. God is in control and absolutely nothing can stop His sovereign purposes. My heart can rest in the reign of the Sovereign King.

At the same time, this verse shatters any illusion that I’m the one in control. My plans can come crashing down at any moment.

  • Our plans can change overnight because of an invisible virus.
  • Our world as we know it can collapse with one phone call.
  • Our health can be stripped away with one diagnosis.

But when our plans inevitably do fail and we recognize once again that we are not in control, the God who is sovereign and reigns over all invites us to see that He is in control. And if our hope is rooted and grounded in the One who is in control, then our hope is secure and unwavering.

The writer, overwhelmed by these great truths about God, responds at the end of the Psalm by placing his hope firmly and confidently in God. But, don’t misunderstand – hoping in God is anything but passive. It’s actively “waiting” on Him. It’s having your heart “glad in Him.” It’s “trusting in His holy name” and resting in “His steadfast love” (verses 20-22).

All of this is next to impossible without immersing ourselves in the Bible. Why? Because whenever life’s inevitable ups and downs threaten to shake our hope, Scripture, time and time again, redirects us back to God. And if we’re rooted in the hope that only God can provide, we can weather any storm that life throws our way.