There are days when we find it difficult, if not impossible, to sustain hope. The day of Jesus' death was such a day. It was a day of despair for all who had put their hope in him. It was a day of unbearable grief for those who had been changed by his love. In such terrible moments hope disappears. Darkness seems to be all that remains. God seems absent.
It is, however, one of the most fundamental convictions of the Christian faith that, in those times when hope seems unattainable, God is at work. In that moment when even Jesus had a difficult time sustaining hope in God's redemptive purposes, God was fighting the decisive battle which would extend the rule of the Kingdom to all peoples. In that moment of terror, the foundations of reality were exposed and God was at work on the deep structures of the world. God could do work at that moment which would have been impossible during ordinary times.
Much the same is true of our moments of hopelessness. It is when hope grows weakest that our foundations are most exposed. It is when the struggle to sustain hope is most difficult that God can work on the deep structure of our persons. It is at those times that God can reach the unreachable crevices of our hearts and work on regions where fear and despair seem to reign.
It is a terrible thing to lose hope. But all is not lost. Though we lose hope, God is still at work. It may be that during our season of hopelessness God will extend the rule of the Kingdom of God into new regions of our lives.
In those times when I cannot hope, Lord,
help me to remember the work which
you accomplished during Jesus' hour of darkness.
Remind me, when I lose all hope,
that all hope is not gone
because you continue your work in me.
Extend the rule of your kingdom
into the deepest regions of my heart
where fear and despair have reigned for too long.
Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan
National Association for Christian Recovery