Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Hope (05/04/06)
TITLE: The Basis of Hope
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As a young nurse I worked in a psychiatric clinic with suicidal and deeply depressed women. They came from all walks of life and all levels of society: high school girls, prostitutes, young mothers and older women.
All of them had attempted to take their own life and fallen into a very deep depression or escaped into a mental phantasy world of their own.
The one symptom these women had in common was hopelessness. Many, not all, had loving friends and relations, and drugs were not a problem in those days, the early fifties. These women had lost hope in the future, they could not see their way forward at that stage in their life and trusted, at that moment no promises made by counselors, friends or family. When there is no hope, life just shrivels away despite medication.
As Christians we can understand that hopelessness is a form of unbelief. I am not saying that Christians cannot fall into deep depression but for us there is a sure way out of it because God’s Word is much more than an ordinary spoken or written word. God’s Word is alive and can heal the body and the mind.
In the Bible hope is closely connected with faith in God. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Romans, chapter four, tells us that Abraham trusted God’s promise for a son “against all hope”, meaning against all natural hope because Abraham and his wife Sarah were wellpast the age to have a child. But he trusted God’s promise and was not disappointed.
How often, in a seemingly hopeless situation, a person recovers from serious illness because there is still a glimmer of hope, a glimmer of trust in a future. And the doctors just shake their head. Hope has no other base than trust because if it were something more tangible it would no longer be hope.
As Christians, in any situation we can base our hope on trust in God; we call it faith. We can be assured that in the final outcome our salvation is assured, and on the journey through this life we can know that ‘Hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Romans 5:5, NKJV).
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