I’ve written a lot about hope recently so I wasn’t sure I’d have a fresh take on the topic I could write about in reaction to today’s devotion from my church, “Hope in a Hopeless World”. As I thought about it though, God reminded me of a memory from my teenage years when I was a new believer. When I was confused about this new faith I had adopted. When I read a book called Hinds’ Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. Then the title of today’s topic came to me–Hope Gives Strength.
When I read this book as a teenager, I felt like this allegory of the Christian life paralleled my own in some ways. I was like the main character Much-Afraid who wanted her life and her circumstances to change, but wasn’t sure how to accomplish this.
The book is based on a verse of Scripture I read earlier and is what God used to bring this memory to mind.
Habakkuk 3:19 says, “The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.”
The first part of this verse, “The Lord God is my strength,” is what comes to mind when I think of the journey Much-Afraid took and how this strength connected with hope. In the book, Much-Afraid leaves the Valley of Humiliation to go to the High Places with the Good Shepherd. She is unable to go straight there because of her infirmities so he enlists two handmaidens to help her. As they journey there, the Shepherd joins them and teaches many lessons to Much-Afraid and her companions as the flower of Love grows in her heart. She grows to love the Shepherd to the point where she says that he could deceive her about everything he has said, and she would still love him. I believe that love was entwined with hope which is what gave her strength especially at the end of the book when she believes she is all alone and still makes her offering to him.
We aren’t strong on our own; at least, I’m not. The only way I can be strong is with God in my heart and in my life. And I get that strength from my hope in God which I first gained as a teenager.
There have been many times I have forgotten that hope and when I’ve forgotten it, the strength seems to ebb out of me. It doesn’t need to though. When I feel like my strength is gone, I just need to remember where my true strength and hope is–with my Lord and Savior.
Isaiah 40:31 says, “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
I especially liked this reference from Romans 15:13. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
My hope began with accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior and realizing my hope is in Him gives me strength to go through each day. My prayer for each of you and for our world is that we would know our true hope and strength in Jesus Christ!
God’s blessings on all of you today!