Restoring Hope in the Race of Life

Date: May 2, 2024

Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.  2 Corinthians 3:12


We are quick to rejoice when the blessings are flowing from the storeroom of heaven!  When God is blessing, and the sky is blue, the praises come easy, but when the reservoir of divine blessing seems to have run dry, and the sky is dark and the clouds heavy, and it seems that when you want God to say “Yes!” He says “No!” or perhaps you wonder if He is saying anything at all, that’s when you learn what it us to walk by faith and not by sight.

Many, though, seem to run out of faith, the reservoir of hope goes dry, and they fight despair and discouragement.  We’re much like Robby Gordon, the man who was leading the Indianapolis 500 road race, cruising along at breakneck speed, in the lead, about to finish the race and win his first big triumph in the event.  He could almost taste it.  Twice before, he had finished fifth.

He had just finished the 199th lap when his team decided to gamble.  Instead of pulling him to the pit for refueling, they gambled on his having enough gasoline to make it.  They were wrong, and as his magnificent racing machine, sputtered and stopped running, others sped on by, as he coasted to fourth place.

“I want to sit down and cry,” he told reporters, adding, “we came so close to winning the Indy 500.”  He said a few other things that shouldn’t go into print, but I can quote him saying, “I could go kick the car, but what good would that do?  I could punch one of the mechanics, but we’re still going to be fourth.  I can’t cry.  It’s just over, that’s all.”

For him the race was over, but not for you.  You’re still out there on the track called life, and you don’t want to run out of gas before you hit the finish line.

The resources which keep you going aren’t as tangible as fuel for a race car, but far more important.  When people begin to dry up spiritually and hope begins to wither, they almost always withdraw.  They withdraw from church, from a husband or wife, from family and friends, and–though they don’t realize it–they are withdrawing from God as well.

That accounted for Elijah’s taking that long tour through the wilderness when God had to turn him around and send him back to work.  It was the reason Jonah went AWOL, wanting to take a vacation on the Spanish Riviera instead of going to desolate Nineveh.  That’s also why vast numbers of people today have all but given up hope.  They are coasting, having run out of spiritual fuel, blaming the circumstances or the pastor, or God, “who could have prevented this whole business” but chose not to—using their words.

What do you do?  In the flyleaf of my Bible I’ve written the words of Andrew Murray, which help restore hope.  He wrote, “In times of trouble, God’s trusting child may say: First, He brought me here; it is by His will I am in this difficult place; in that will I rest.  Next: He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace in this trial to behave as His child.  Then: He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow. Last: In His good time He can bring me out again–how and when, He knows.  Say: I am here (1) By God’s appointment, (2) in His keeping, (3) under His training, (4) for His time.”  And then under these words are a scripture he often quoted:  “Psalm 50:15, “And call upon Me in the day of trouble, I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me.”

When the despair of hope has set it, remind yourself of what you already know to be true, and keep on keeping on for the Lord.

Resource reading: Psalm 50.