Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
Many people describe the time we are living in now as hopeless. Some people are cursing the year 2020 and are wishing that it will soon be over. They are blaming the calendar for what's going on in the world. That shouldn't be!
CNN anchor Don Lemon said if he misbehaved when he was growing up, his mother told him she should slap him into the next year. The journalist said he wishes his mother "could slap him into next year" now. He said that jokingly to wish this year was already over.
The year on the calendar has nothing to do with the COVID-19 pandemic. The calendar has nothing to do with the wildfires in dozens of western states at the time of this writing. The calendar has nothing to do with hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods. The calendar has nothing to do with racism, inequality, police brutality, and injustice in the world. The calendar has nothing to do with the anxiety about the upcoming election on November 3.
Even so, many people are restless, anxious, depressed, and they see these as hopeless times.
"Hope" is an interesting word because it can be both a noun and a verb depending on how it is used. As a noun, it is the name of something. It is a positive state of mind that is based on what we expect to happen. As a verb, it is having a confident feeling that something will happen. In other words, we hope (verb) for something (noun) to happen.
Romans 5:3-5 says:
“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and this hope does not disappoint us, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit."
What did Paul mean when he said, "hope does not disappoint us"?
Paul wrote to those words to the Romans to let them know that even though they were going through tough times, tough times wouldn't last. Also, the love of God was still present. In fact, according to the scripture, the love of God was "poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit" and the work of the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
If Paul were alive today, he would tell us that even though we are going through tough times, we can still have hope and be hopeful because we can find hope in God. Tribulations bring about perseverance, and perseverance is perfecting our character and giving us hope that does not disappoint us.
The late Dr. Robert H. Schuller, founder and former pastor of the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California taught millions of people that "Tough times don't last, but tough people do."
3 Things to Do in Tough Times
Instead of cursing 2020, here are three things you can do to get better results.
1. Hold onto your faith.
Do not lose the hope you once had before tribulations came. Even though your circumstances have changed, God didn't change. He is the same as He was before you experienced inconvenient changes in your life. He will be the same when your tribulations are over. Therefore, you might as well start rejoicing now.
2. Remember God's track record.
David encouraged himself in the Lord when he faced adversity. He remembered that with God's help, he had conquered a bear, a lion, and an uncircumcised Philistine named Goliath. Since God brought him out of those circumstances, David knew that God would not leave him helpless and hopeless.
During your current situation, remember what God had done for you in the past. Know that He is still working on your behalf.
3. Know that you have a safe haven.
People attributed all of the psalms to David. He did write 73 of them, more than any of the other psalmists. Moses wrote only one of the hymns, and it was Psalm 91. In that particular psalm, Moses specifically said:
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust." (Psalm 91:1-2)
In just two verses, Moses lets us know that as long as we are in the shelter of the Most High, we can confidently say, God is our refuge and fortress, and we can trust Him. Throughout the remainder of that psalm, the psalmist assures us that God is protecting us even when we think He is not. Moses says In Verse 7:
"A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you."
In Verses 14-17, Moses says:
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life, I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
Don't Give Up
There is no need to curse this year or any year. There is no need to want the year to be over. There is no need to rush into next year before this year is over. God is here right now in this year. He is our hope, and hope does not disappoint.
Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on September 21, 2020:
Another great article Margaret and a wonderful definition of Hope.
Pam Morris from Atlanta Georgia on September 21, 2020:
Margaret, this is an inspirational article. You write a lot of encouraging hubs. I enjoy reading them, and I agree as we approach 2020, many of us are wiping our brows and exclaiming ‘what a year, well, I believe we can move past an experience that deeply wounded us. And its through what you share in the three tough times, we have a safe haven in our father above. Thank you for sharing this article.