I read the first chapter of Job this morning. I still occasionally think of the things I have lost over the years, especially all the things I left behind in Thailand. But Job lost everything AND all his children in one fell swoop. Yet he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” Job 1:21
At this time, there is flooding in Texas from Hurricane Harvey, flooding in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh from much heavier than usual monsoon rains, and flooding and mudslides in Sierra Leone. Millions are being affected in these three continents, and many have lost their lives. Our president in the USA has called for a National Day of Prayer for the flood victims of Texas. I have added South Asia and Africa to my list.
I concluded my Bible reading this morning with Psalm 42. The writer seems to go back and forth between being totally devoted to God and wondering why God has abandoned him. He remembers happier days, but then thinks about current problems and feelings.
What is his answer? He states it twice in this chapter, then again in the next chapter. It is what we all long for, what keeps us going: Hope.
“Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
For I will yet praise him,
My Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:5, 11; 43:5
Without hope, we all despair. But our hope must be in something worthy of our thoughts. We can hope all we want that a chair will hold us, but if it only has three broken legs maybe we should not sit on it!
God is worthy of our hope and trust. We are all just passing through this earth, and all that we have is temporal. Our hope must be in the God who offers eternal life that cannot be swept away by flood waters. Our God is called the God of hope in Romans 15:13 – “May the God of hope fill you all with joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”