In a world that is constantly evolving, nothing and no one is truly reliable. When hard times hit, where do you run? And what happens if where you run fails you?
Every few days, my mom reads us the Facebook updates of a friend of ours. On January 31, our friend’s son was diagnosed in the womb with hypoplastic left heart syndrome meaning the left side of his heart is undeveloped. Since being born on March 14th, he has remained in the hospital fighting for his life. He was recently able to receive a Berlin heart (an exterior heart pump) and has been on the heart transplant list. However, even if he is able to get a heart, he will not live past 35. The most amazing thing is through it all, his parents continue to praise the Lord. Their faith and surrender no matter the outcome is courageously beautiful. It’s easy to talk about hoping in the Lord, but to see it in action? Wow.
His unfailing hope is theirs because they understand the greatness of our God. They know who He is. They trust His goodness. The only way they could’ve learned to trust who He is, and in turn, who they and their son are, was by experiencing Him in their lives. Like any relationship, the best way to learn about someone is through experience. It’s different to hear your friend say she’ll stand by you till you’re the target of an ugly rumor and she has your back. The same goes with God. We need to put ourselves in positions that allow us to encounter Him. We need to dig into His Word, talk to Him, serve (especially when we don’t want to and who we don’t like), give, be available, love and most importantly, be obedient. Obedience is key because His laws are a reflection of who He is. He tells us to love our neighbors because He is love. He tells us to forgive our enemies because He is a forgiver. You get the point. When we obey, we reflect and experience who He is through our actions. Additionally, it makes space for more of Him to enter our hearts. We go beyond learning about who He is to encountering it—tasting it.
Jesus is our only hope. He has given it to us freely and never goes back on His Word. It’s up to each of us to make the choice on whether to live in His hope or not.
I had only heard about You before, but now I have seen You with my own eyes. - Job 42:5
Praise the LORD, for He has shown me the wonders of His unfailing love. He kept me safe when my city was under attack. In panic I cried out, “I am cut off from the LORD!” But You heard my cry for mercy and answer my call for help. - Psalm 31:21-22
So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD! - Psalm 31:24