Our hope is not in our circumstances.
It’s something I need to be reminded of regularly. Especially during times that are not routine or are unexpected, or when it becomes apparent that so little is in our control.
My hope is not in my circumstances.
Your hope is not in your circumstances.
Our hope is not in our circumstances.
Our hope is secure.
The work has been completed.
Our hope is secure and complete because of the work of Christ.
Our hope is secure, yet our circumstances are always changing. For parents, the stages their children are in are always changing. So often our careers change regardless of what we had hoped for. This pandemic we are living in quickly changed circumstances for everyone.
God Has Seen Others Go through This Before
Noah’s story is a great example of this. His circumstances changed in a big way when God let him know a flood was coming and he was to build an ark. It was not routine for Noah to build a giant boat. Before God told him, Noah did not expect the whole earth to flood. Noah had no control over the floodwaters or what those around him were doing.
In the account of Noah, the Bible says over and over again the rain prevailed, the waters prevailed … the circumstances became less routine, perhaps more unexpected, and while the floodwaters prevailed, there was very little Noah had control over.
Similarly, 2020 has been a year of constantly changing circumstances that for many are anything but routine. We may be in circumstances that sound like Noah’s—“the floodwaters prevailed.” Regardless of the year, circumstances change. Spouses die. Accidents happen. Divorce divides. Politics create chasms between people. Schools are closed. Jobs are lost. Churches shut their doors indefinitely. Children are harmed. The floodwaters prevail.
When the floodwaters recede, the topography of life looks different than before the flood. Yet regardless of topography or circumstances, our hope is secure because it is founded in Christ.
Where to Find Answers
We have a lot of questions. We have problems with no discernable answer. We have questions about our circumstances and what our lives are going to look like. We do not have the answers to it all, but we do have the answer to where our hope is found.
The answer lies outside of ourselves. The hope in our circumstances does not come from figuring out how to make our lives better. The answer is Jesus. It sounds like a cliche Sunday School answer, but it’s become the Sunday School answer because it’s what Scripture points us to over and over again:
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you. (2 Corinthians 4:7–12)
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16–18)
The waters prevailed. But God remembered Noah.
Moses was afraid he would stumble over his words. God assured him He would be there.
Lazarus died, but Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.
The Samaritan woman went to the well alone and had no husband. But Jesus gave her living water.
Circumstances change, yet our hope in Christ remains steady and firm.
Looking for Christian answers to the pandemic and how to face these changing circumstances? Order Faith in the Shadow of a Pandemic below.