Pastor’s column – Hope in times of trouble

I

believe that without hope it’s impossible for a Christian to have complete faith and trust in God. There are three things that are necessary to have a Christian walk: Faith, trust and hope. Faith and trust are viewed as the most important of the three. Hope is sometimes simultaneously used with the word “wish” (a personal desire). Hope is the vehicle that carries us to faith and trust. The Biblical meaning of hope is the confidence and the expectation that God will do what he has promised.

Let us look at the book of Jeremiah, chapter 29. The Israelites were exiled and were under Babylonian rule. The Prophet Jeremiah told the people the plans God had for them. Jeremiah 29:11 reads “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” The prophet told them they were going to live in Babylonia for 70 years. He told them to be confident; keep making plans and that God had everything under control.

Jeremiah 29:4-7 reads: This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

In the following verses the Lord reminds the Israelites and us that if we seek him in spirit and in truth, He will be in control and can expect that He will do what He has promised. Jeremiah 29:12-14: Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. “I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. “I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

Psalms 34:18-19 reads “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.

Today, just as He did with the Israelites, He is telling us: I have a plan. Trust me. I am in control. I will keep my promises. Call out to me and I will answer. Let us trust in God to do the impossible. Let us put our Hope in Him. He will keep His promises.

Joe Ruiz, Assembly of God Pentecostal Church of Uvalde.



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