Sunrise and Hope

Two Sundays ago, I was up and on the road before the sun. I was sleepy, desperately in need of coffee, and slightly terrified of what the morning may hold. Walking into places where I don’t know a soul and anticipating that I will have to stand on a platform and speak are the sort of moments my nightmares are made of, and that is precisely what I knew awaited me.

Driving out of Georgia, there was a chill in the air and dark clouds hanging in the sky. Continuing my journey up the interstate, there was a glimmer of light in the distance on the horizon and I knew that daybreak would come soon. I chased that hope of sunshine for a while longer, and it was a beautiful sight as light broke through the dark and covered the sky in color.

Much like hope.

Our world is filled with hopelessness. We can see it in the news we read, and when we are honest, we can see it in the faces of people we meet. And sometime, we find ourselves staring down the barrel of what looks like a hopeless situation. It’s like traveling in the dark when you’re exhausted and feeling certain that nothing good could possibly be ahead.

Today’s popular culture definition for is one of whimsy and fluff, a desire or a feeling, simply wishful thinking. When I looked up the definition in the online version of Merriam-Webster dictionary it actually lists trust and expecting with confidence as definitions, but points out that those terms are “archaic”. I think that just shows that our world has lost so much hope that we have had to change the popular definition.

As Christians, the difference for us is that our hope is sure.  It is not archaic to expect with confidence whatever God has promised. He is hope, and we are carriers of that hope. Or we should be.

Romans 12:12  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Romans 15:13  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.

Of all people, we should be the ones rejoicing and abounding in hope as we abide in the God of hope, and the world is desperately grappling for some hope to cling to. We also can be patient in difficult times because of this hope, our guarantee.

Leaving Georgia that morning was dark and a bit cold, and with little sleep and no coffee, sunrise definitely seemed far away. The gathering, thick clouds in the sky looked as if it was just going to be a dark, sunless day. Eventually the clouds did give way to sun (and I did locate coffee), though even if it had been a cloudy day, we know that the sun was still shining regardless of my ability to see it in all of its glory.

Maybe you know someone facing a hopeless situation, or someone who just can’t see the hope. Maybe that someone is even you. Just like the sun is shining even if the clouds are blocking our view, God is hope and He is trustworthy even when all of our life circumstances seem to shout a different story in our ears.

There IS still hope.