Are you caught up in a situation that seems hopeless? Are you in one of those “hard spots” where you have more questions than answers, more tears than joy, run out of prayers and entirely powerless to change your circumstances?
Life is full of challenges and we all experience these challenges……. whether it is serious health problems, financial issues, workplace drama, relationship troubles, rebellious children, or death of a loved one. At one point or another in our lives we face them. Some of these challenges may cause us to feel hopeless. If you are feeling hopeless right now, take heart, even some of the heroes in the bible, had their times when they wanted to give up. Job, Moses, Jonah, Jeremiah and even the great prophet Elijah.
As I was navigating through the storms of life I discovered this bible verse in the book of Zechariah 9 v 12 “ Return to your fortress, O, prisoners of hope, even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.” Honestly what attracted me to this scripture was the promise of restoration and double restoration nogal. More like double for your trouble. I then made a conscious decision whether I was going to go through life upset, anxious, hysterical, fearful, suicidal, doubtful and neurotic or I was just going to rest in the Lord.
Resting in the Lord requires maturity; I had to learn to trust Him completely, to stand on His Word and to stand my ground when life got tougher. The bible never promised that following Jesus would guarantee a trouble-free life. Actually the opposite is the case. “In this world you shall have tribulations, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16 v 33. No matter how hopeless a situation may seem, it’s always worth staying hopeful, because God has the power to change situations dramatically at anytime.
I like what Omid Safi says about hope: he says “hope is rooted in faith, with feet mired in suffering”. Hope is a heart in agony that yearns for liberation. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu says, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” Which means for hope to exist, there has to be darkness. Yes darkness, maybe it so dark in your life right now that you can’t even see your hand in front of your face. Maybe you are sick and tired of hoping, of believing and of waiting? And every time you feel like giving up, you begin to sense a strength rising in the inside; the kind of strength you just did not know existed. Just as the scripture says in the book of Isaiah 40 v 31 “ But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Note that in the very same text God refers to His people as “prisoners of hope,” honestly the term prisoner for me has a negative connotation, if you are a prisoner, you are a slave, and you are in bondage. And yet God Almighty himself calls us prisoners of hope because we are bound to a sure and certain promise that He has given us, and it will surely come to pass. Ever heard of Jeremiah 29 v 11, the prophet Jeremiah quoted God as saying “ I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a future.” I’d rather be a prisoner of Hope than to live without hope.
Hope is not escapism. Hope is recognizing the chains around our feet, and yet it yearns for freedom. Hope is an active act of faith, refusing to surrender.Are you feeling helpless, are things around you looking hopeless, and yet you have this confident and eager expectation that something good is about to happen? You are a prisoner of hope, therefore let us return to our fortress and God will restore us.