Every day we come into contact with individuals who feel overwhelmed by their circumstances. Regardless of our impressions, many people are living in some sort of situation that troubles their heart and mind. Christians are no different. We too are familiar with feeling weary, unsettled, and eager to be relieved of difficult circumstances. As Christians, however, we know to turn to the Lord to look for hope.
Still, I have noticed a misunderstanding of hope among Christians. This misunderstood hope often points toward a future when God will remove the obstacle in our lives that is causing distress. We often hope that an illness will be healed or a class will become easier. God is certainly capable of transforming circumstances in our favor, but consider what happens if he does not. Will there still be hope? I believe there will be.
In Psalm 43 David is in the midst of a disquieting time as he openly calls out for God to deliver him. He feels the “oppression of his enemy,” yet he finds refuge in the God who brings great joy. In the final verse of Psalm 43, David tells his downcast soul, “Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” Notice how David reminds himself to hope in God, who is his salvation. He finds comfort by reminding his soul of who God is, not what God can do for him.
I believe that Christians must remind their souls to hope in God alone. God may not fix every heartbreaking hardship we encounter, but he is still good. True hope, then, is not dependent on the improvement of difficult circumstances; rather, true hope rests in the truth that God himself is our salvation and our only hope as we endure the struggles of this life.