May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Power of Hope
It may not strike us as humane today, but many years ago an experiment took place. Researchers placed a set of rats in a large tub of water. Then they placed a second set of rats in another large tub of water. In the first tub, they left the rats alone. But in the second tub, they reached in and pulled one of the rats out of the water for a few moments from time to time and then put it back. The results were dramatic. While the first set of rats quickly gave up swimming and were ready to give in to drowning, the second set of rats kept right on swimming for hours. The reason was clear. The second set of rats had hope. The first set did not.
Have there been times in your life when you’ve felt as hopeless as a laboratory rat swimming around in a tub of water? Sin does that—your sin and mine. It pulls us into bad places from which we cannot escape. It isolates and surrounds us in despair. It makes life look dark and bleak.
But God did not abandon us to swim in the vat of our sins until we could swim no more. In fact, he did far more than pull us out from time to time to give us some desperate sense of hope. Instead, he became one of us. Through his life and death on our behalf, Jesus removed our sins forever. As he did, he destroyed the despair that our sin brings and replaced it with hope as God defines it—a sure, confident certainty based upon what Jesus Christ has already done.
And so there it is. Regardless of what is happening in your life, you are walking on the solid ground of your Savior’s promises. And through faith in him, you possess the sure hope that your journey ends in victory.
Dear Savior, forgive me for all the times I have given in to hopelessness and despair. Wash my sins away. By your Spirit, refresh my eyes to see the sure hope I possess in you. Amen.