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Wednesday, September 18, 2013
"What is my strength, that I should hope? and what is mine end, that I should prolong my life?" Job 6:11
As Vice President George Bush represented the United States at the funeral of former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, Bush was deeply moved by a silent protest carried out by Brezhnev's widow. She stood motionless by the coffin until seconds before it was closed. Then, just as the soldiers touched the lid, Brezhnev's wife performed an act of great courage and hope, a gesture that must surely rank as one of the most profound acts of civil disobedience ever committed: she reached down and made the sign of the cross on her husband's chest.
There in the citadel of atheistic power, the wife of the man who had run it all hoped that her husband was wrong. She hoped that there was another life, and that that life was best represented by Jesus who died on the cross, and that the same Jesus might yet have mercy on her husband.
There is something powerful about hope. I've heard it said that a man can live forty days without food, four days without water, four minutes without air, but only four seconds without hope. I'm afraid that the hope of so many is failing, and I believe that it is the Christian's responsibility to give hope to the world. People are facing divorce, disease, difficulty, and death every day, and many of them are very near hopeless.
A number of years ago researchers performed an experiment to see the effect hope has on those undergoing hardship. Two sets of laboratory rats were placed in separate tubs of water. The researchers left one set in the water and found that within an hour they had all drowned. The other rats were periodically lifted out of the water and then returned. When that happened, the second set of rats swam for over 24 hours. Why? Not because they were given a rest, but because they suddenly had hope!
Those animals somehow hoped that if they could stay afloat just a little longer, someone would reach down and rescue them. If hope holds such power for unthinking rodents, how much greater should its effect be on our lives?
To be a "hope bearer" to this hopeless world we need to:
Remember our "Blessed Hope""Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" Titus 2:13.
Be filled with hope every day."Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost." Romans 15:13.
Tell others that there is a Rescuer."That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:" Psalm 78:6, 7.
Remember: "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity." 1 Cor. 13:13. Our faith in God will give us hope. Our charity (love in action) will give others hope!