November 15, 2021

This Is How To Find Hope

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure….  Hebrews 6:19

When a submarine sank several years ago off Provincetown, divers descended to see if there were any signs of life.  Looking at a situation which seemed hopeless, a diver heard a tapping sound.  Yes, it was something coming from within the hull of the disabled vessel.  The diver listened carefully.  There was a rhythm to it, and then, drawing from what he had learned many years before, he recognized the pattern.  Over and over, the person inside was tapping out the message in Morse Code, “Is there hope?”

Reading through the messages that came to our office, I realized that the same question has been asked under a variety of circumstances.  There was the woman who told how she had been abused as a child, raised by an alcoholic father and an abusive stepmother.  Struggling to keep her little business from collapsing under the weight of debt she said, “My problem is that I have lost my hope.”

A high school student, feeling that she could never measure up to the expectations of her parents, wrote saying, “On Saturday, I was so depressed that I wanted to kill myself.  Whenever I do something wrong, my mom says that there’s something wrong with me.  So now I just keep everything inside of me.  I can never be as good as the others.  I am so hopeless.”

Whether you are on the inside of a sunken ship, or the short end of a business that is failing, feeling that you can never measure up to the expectations of others, or losing your health, prescription by prescription, when you feel that there is no light at the end of the tunnel, that things can never be any different, you lose hope.  And when you lose hope, what makes life worth living quickly begins to vanish.

Giving up on hope is like slamming the door on God.  It is the equivalent of saying, “God, my problem is greater than you are, and I don’t believe you can help me at all.”

Paul wrote to the Corinthians and talked about the fact that problems in life can be tough, very difficult, but there is hope beyond simply making your business successful or regaining your health.  He wrote, “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men” (1 Corinthians 15:19).

Bringing God into your despair is like an escape route through the gloom that takes away your hope.  It refuses to accept your circumstances as final, no matter how difficult and painful.

Another friend of Guidelines learned this, listening to this commentary.  He wrote, “I didn’t think that I could ever receive grace in God’s eyes again.  My sins were so great (lying, adultery, incest, and stealing) that I often felt like suicide was the only way out.  I often wondered how I could sink so low…. As I was listening to you in the early morning, I heard you say how God is just to forgive…. Listening to you that morning sent me back to the cross…. I truly thank God for your ministry. The Word comes forth as a lighthouse in the twilight morning.”

I have always found comfort in the words of Hebrews 6, which talks about the hope which comes through a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ.  He says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure…” (Hebrews 6:19).  He talks about Christ having entered into the very presence of God as a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.

How is it with you, friend?  On a scale of 1 to 10, how does your hope-meter register?  No situation is hopeless when God steps on the scene, for hopeless is not a word that is in the vocabulary of the Almighty.  It’s a fact. He majors on the word, “hope.”

Resource reading: Hebrews 6:13-20