All around us the world is changing, and most of these changes are not for the better. Our culture is becoming more ungodly, and our society is on a downward spiral. Many Christians feel helpless and hopeless at the condition of our world. They have become resigned to the state of society's moral decay. They are overwhelmed by the sinfulness surrounding them. Yet the Bible teaches us that Christians should be the most hopeful people on earth.
Paul encourages us, "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer" (Romans 12:12). As a Hebrew, Paul would have been grammatically inclined to place the most important idea at the end of the sentence. Paul is essentially saying that when we persist in prayer, we will not only be steadfast during the tough times, but we will also rejoice in hope.
Biblical hope comes from the absolute confidence and trust that God has our best interests at heart.
Paul is not talking about temporary optimism or positive thinking. He is saying that persistent prayer leads to a truly optimistic, hope-filled outlook on life. Prayer puts things in an eternal perspective. Through prayer, the Holy Spirit can show us how God views our circumstances so that we do not persist in our faulty, pessimistic attitudes. Only through an ongoing fellowship with God can we find the joy of Biblical hope.
Biblical hope comes from knowing who we are in Christ and that we belong to Him. Biblical hope comes from the absolute confidence and trust that God has our best interests at heart. When we are filled with Biblical hope, we wake up each morning with enthusiasm, eager to see how God is going to meet our needs, walk with us that day, and use us mightily for Him.
Prayer: God, thank You for the hope that comes from a relationship with You. When I am tempted to despair, help me to remember to turn to You in prayer knowing that You will give me hope. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you" (Psalm 39:7).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon From Despair to Destiny, Part 17: LISTEN NOW