Maybe you have heard someone say or even said to yourself, “I sure hope the rapture comes soon.” I’m sure that some part of each person who says that really does desire to see Jesus face-to-face, but, if you are like me, I think the more likely wish of our hearts is to escape a current trial.
The Bible is filled with encouragement for those in trials of any kind. Do we find the same wishful thinking we see our hearts crying out for, or is there something even better that God’s word points us to? Let’s take a look:
Psalm 33:16 The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. 17 The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue. 18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, 19 that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. 20 Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. 21 For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. 22 Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.
The psalmist highlights our tendency to put our hope or trust in man-made devices like our armies or our strength (vs. 16-17), but the better promise and hope is in the steadfast love of the LORD (v. 18). As a result of this more certain hope, we can wait in the midst of our trial (v. 20) and experience joy and gladness even in our waiting (v. 21).
Psalm 42:5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God…11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God.
Notice how the psalmist attacks his downcast soul, he calls out to hope in God. Additionally, note how the psalmist is talking to himself. Instead of believing that he can encourage his own heart through a change in circumstance, the psalmist calls out to hope in God.
Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Look at how the Apostle Paul encourages the Romans in the midst of their sufferings and trials. He doesn’t pray that they would escape them or have a change in circumstances, but instead he points to the hope that does not put us to shame because by faith in Jesus Christ we have obtained access into this grace that we know God gives us even more of as we are humble (James 4:6).
So what is our posture in the midst of trials, sufferings, and difficulties? Our posture is one that holds tightly to the hope we have in God through Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit for the Day when all evil is extinguished both in the new heavens and new earth and in our hearts. Even as our hearts cry out to escape a trial or to avoid a trial, we have something even better to put our hope in, Jesus Christ, who conquered death by dying, who made sin powerless by taking on all our sin, and who made our future certain by raising from the dead.
Brothers and sisters, may we experience the joy of our salvation in our daily living as we abound in hope and rejoice in hope, who is Jesus Christ, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).