Hope is a memorial

Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”

“I Have Hope!” a worship song by Dallas Holms, addresses hopelessness and asks some stirring questions. When life is filled with sorrow where do I turn for hope? “Where do the brokenhearted go to find a comfort for their pain. So many hurting need to know the hope there is in Jesus’ name. I tried to make it on my own, but I kept on drifting far away.”

Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. Hope is also looking forward to with desire and reasonable confidence. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. During Memorial Day, we have occasion to reflect on the grace God has granted to our nation’s veterans for their sacrificial and brave service to protect freedom and preserve hope in our hearts.

One particular reflection comes from Wikipedia. It is entitled, The Battle For Britain, and it happened on June 18, 1940. “Britain stood alone and hopeless against Hitler and the German air force, (The Luftwaffe.) One by one the Nazis had destroyed everyone that dared take to the air against them.

The British Air Force had a rag-tag group of fighter pilots known as the RAF. The RAF along with it’s allies held the Nazis in check. Despite all its efforts the situation for the RAF had become desperate and hope was beginning to wane.

On August 13, 1940, it all came to a head. Everything the Luftwaffe had that day they put into the air. Wave after wave of bombers and fighters head out over the English Channel towards Britain. The RAF responded. They were far out numbered, but the brave RAF pilots tore into the formations of Nazi aircraft. Against impossible odds the RAF held. With nothing in reserve these brave men persevered. Slowly, the RAF gained the upper hand.”

Because the RAF held, the Germans were stopped; the United States would enter the war; and be able to invade and liberate all of Europe from ports in England. Tragedy was turned into triumph and hope was birthed granting those who believed the victory. Hope granted these men the courage to face their enemy with no thought of retreat or defeat.

You may find yourself in the midst of an apparent hopeless circumstance. Is your enemy coming in like a flood? Are you tired and weary? Has your hope been deferred and you find yourself heart sick?

Perhaps you have a hole in your soul. A mate has betrayed you. A family member denies knowing you. Resentment and bitterness try hard to shoot your hope down. A business fails and bankruptcy is knocking at the door. A medical crisis has hit you and the bills are just building up. You are faced with impossible circumstances. Where will you turn for hope and help? I suggest you run to the Rock, Jesus Christ the conquering King of Kings, Savior and Lord of all.

From Romans 8:28 “we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 4:17, “For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.” Because of hope we can endure tragedy, and trouble. Romans 4:18, “In hope against hope Abraham believed, so that he might become a father of many nations.”

Romans 12:11, Those who hope are not, “to be lagging behind in diligence, but are fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer.” Again Dallas Holm’s song, “I Have Hope” declares, “I’ll carry on ’til Jesus comes. Though trials and snares may come my way and by His strength the race I’ll run, and by His grace these words I say, I have faith that Jesus holds tomorrow I have hope, I’m resting in His arms. He said He’d never leave me, never let me go “Don’t lose hope or shrink back. Reflect on what Jesus has done for you what Hebrews 4:16 says, “Draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” My dear friends call Jesus, who is our anchor. Hebrews 6:19, ” This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil.” Amen

(“From the Pulpit” is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of The Weirton Ministerial Association)