Strengthening Our Hope

Pat Dirrim   -  

Hope is a word that has huge power in our society today.  Many feel as if there is none or that whatever hope they did have is slipping away. Thus, people will go to great lengths to seek it out. How about you? Where do fit on the hope spectrum?  Is yours waning or about to flicker out? If so, I have some encouraging words for you.

Asaph wrote the second longest psalm in the book of Psalms.  Psalm 78 comes in at a whopping seventy-two verses and his entire point in writing this psalm was so that people, people like the nation of Israel in about 1,000 BC and people like you today, might grow in their hope.

The hope that Asaph speaks about is different than what many today think of in regards to hope. For some, hope is simply wishing that something good might happen.  For others, it involves a bit of work on their part as they toss a coin into a fountain or search for four-leafed clovers.

In contrast to those vacuous methods, Asaph points us to the mighty God of the Bible. If you want hope, a hope that will endure not only throughout your entire life, but a hope that will endure on into the coming generations, Asaph tells us that we must tell of and listen to the glorious deeds of our Lord, wonder at the might displays in His deliverance of His people, and feast upon His glorious testimony and Law.

If you want a hope that will endure on in to the coming generations, we must tell of and listen to the glorious deeds of our Lord, wonder at His mighty displays of His power, and feast upon His glorious testimony and Law.

As Christians many of us are quick to forget.  We often take the stance of “What have you done for me lately?” when thinking about our God.  Asaph would have none of that. In order to fight that tendency in all of us, we must regularly tell one another of God’s glorious deeds and His might.

Tell of God’s Glorious Deeds

We can do this through recounting and remembering God’s staggering power in delivering His people out of Egypt and His bringing of them into the Promised Land. We can do this be remembering Christ’s agony on the night before His crucifixion and His willing obedient submission to His Father so that we, like the Israelites so many years before, could be delivered out of our bondage.

We can do this by sharing glimpses of God’s grace as it works out in our own lives each day. Did you see a beautiful sunset recently? Have you noticed a blooming flower in all its beauty in the last week? Did God graciously provide an answer to prayer or some other such thing in your life? If so, Asaph says we are to tell one another about those glimpses.  Your telling me of your sighting of God’s grace may be just what I need in my drought.  Let’s be a people who tell of our God’s glorious deeds and His might.

Listen to God’s Glorious Deeds

Asaph also commands we must listen to those who do tell if we want our hope to grow and endure on in to the coming generations.  Thus, we must be praying to God asking that He would give us grace so we can genuinely rejoice when a brother or sister shares something and not be jealous it didn’t happen to us. We must ask God to help us be humble when we are confronted with a sin so that we might grow in holiness and not turn our back on Him.

If we do these things, if we tell of His glorious deeds and His might and if we listen to those who are telling us of them, then Asaph is crystal clear as to what will happen.  We, and the coming generations, will set our hope in God and we will not forget the works of our God. We will be a people who are so captivated by the beauty and sufficiency of God that we can do no other than joyfully obey and follow Him because He and His mighty deeds are always front and center in minds, our words, and our thoughts.

May our gracious God give us a zeal to be a people who tell about and listen to His glorious deeds and might so that our hope will be rock-solid, unwavering, and ever-increasing in our own lives and in the lives of the coming generations He has entrusted to us.