Grounded in Hope
We are hoping and praying that this is not true about you, but sadly, most people don’t know what they are reaching for in life. They don’t know their purpose. So what do they do? They fixate on wealth, power, relationships, and health. They believe that achievement in these spheres will satisfy their inner longings.
But do such conquests really accomplish that? Are couples truly happy when they achieve fitness, finances, influence, and friendships?
The answer is yes to some extent. But friends, there is more—so much more—to life! As one miserable man wrote in his suicide note, “I am worth ten million dollars as men judge things, but I am so poor in spirit that I cannot live any longer. Something is terribly wrong with life.”
What, we wonder, was missing from this man’s life?
In a word…hope! Have you heard this saying? “You can live 40 days without food, five minutes without air, but you can’t live even one second without hope.” Real hope, a confident hope, is what people—even that wealthy, successful businessman—are longing for. But they make the mistake of looking for it in all the wrong places.
True and lasting hope is revealed in only one place—the Bible. True and lasting hope is found in only one person—Jesus Christ. And true and lasting hope is promised from only one source—God! Hear now one of His many powerful promises of hope:
“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” ( Jeremiah 29:11 niv).
“Which do you want first, the good news or the bad news?” Well, in the case of God’s promise of hope in Jeremiah 29:11, God first gave His people some bad news. He informed the children of Israel they would remain in captivity away from their homeland for 70 years as punishment for repeatedly failing to follow His commands (verse 10).
But on the heels of the bad news came good news: At the end of their 70 years in exile, God would once again visit His people and fulfill His promise to return them to their land. This was great news of hope.
Seventy years is a l-o-n-g time! Imagine how easy it would be for the people to lose hope and assume that God had turned His back on them. Imagine how often they may have been tempted—perhaps daily!—to think that God no longer loved them or cared about them. But all such thoughts would definitely have been incorrect! To prevent such wrong thinking, God gave the Israelites this shining promise of hope through His prophet Jeremiah.
Oh, did Israel ever need to be encouraged! They needed to know that in spite of their situation they could still be firmly rooted in their trust in God and their belief in God’s loving concern for them. Yes, they had sinned and disobeyed God repeatedly. But God was giving them hope that, even in the midst of their calamity, He was working out His plans for their lives and their future.
And God is working out His plan for your life as a couple as well. You, like the Israelites, can have confidence in God’s plan for you, your marriage, and your endeavors. Why can you have such steadfast hope? Because your hope is not like a ship that is at the mercy of the changing winds. No, your hope is anchored in God Himself !
Because God has designed your personal couple agenda and is present with you, you can have boundless hope—a hope grounded in the promise of an all-powerful God. The stronger your faith in God is, the stronger your hope will be!
Lord, You alone are sovereign. Everything happens according to Your plan. Thank You that we can have confidence in Your guidance and provision…no matter what happens!