“…but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15, ESV)
The situation seemed hopeless. We were shocked to find out that the orphanage where our soon to be adopted son was living was suddenly shut down, and all the children were moved to undisclosed locations. We prayerfully decided that Tim (my husband) should fly to Ethiopia – ASAP. While he was desperately searching for our son and trying to complete the last steps in the adoption process, we rode an emotional roller coaster.
About two weeks into the trip, I vividly remember him calling me, his voice sounding discouraged and weary. He feared there was no hope of bringing our son back to the U.S., even though we were so close to the end of the adoption process. In fact, the courts were closing for a month- long recess.
I hung up the phone and sobbed. Tim would have to return to the U.S. without our precious son.
But that same night, as Tim was praying and reading this passage in 2 Corinthians 12:9- “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”, there was a knock on his guest room door.
He had a phone call from an Ethiopian Christian who was involved in the adoption process. He will never forget her words.
“Tim, don’t give up. There is always hope!”
Her response to the situation was filled with faith and hope in God. And she was absolutely correct. What seemed like a hopeless situation, was an opportunity for God to show His power in an amazing way.
After three weeks and God’s miraculous work in opening closed doors, Tim and our adopted son flew home together.
Even though this situation happened 20 years ago, I remember it like it was yesterday. At just the moment we were feeling hopeless, we were infused with hope – not because of any change in circumstance, but because of the witness of another Christian to the hope that is in us – Christ Jesus, our hope (1 Timothy 1:1).
In a similar way, Peter starts his letter to the Christians who were living in a culture that was hostile to their faith in Jesus, by reminding them that “According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3). And then later in his letter he encourages them to “always be prepared to share the reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15).
This raises two important questions:
Do I have the hope of Christ living in me? Is my life grounded on the Solid Rock of Jesus?
I admit that many times I shrink back from situations around me that seem hopeless. And I often get sucked in to believing the hopeless sounding views in the culture of today. But as a follower of Jesus, there is always hope, because our hope is in Him!
I am reminded of the words of the wonderful hymn “My Hope is Built” written by Edward Mote (1791-1874) of England:
“My Hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand.”
And am I prepared to share the living hope with a world that desperately needs hope?
If I am called to carry the living hope of Jesus within me, it is for the reason of sharing it with the hope-less. What a difference we can make in someone’s life that needs a word of hope to strengthen them today!
Maybe you are struggling today with a situation that seems hopeless. My prayer is that the Spirit of the Living God brings to your mind and heart all of the times He has answered your prayers and made a way through a seemingly hopeless situation. You can build your hope on nothing less than Jesus. Your loving Shepherd will never leave you or forsake you.
There is a reason for Hope!
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans15:13, ESV)