The Resilience of Hope
“Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him.” (Job 13:15)
There is certainly much in this world that can endanger hope. World events, intractable conflicts, insolvable problems, contribute to a certain resignation, cynicism and loss of hope. Many no longer believe that we can solve the problems man faces. Drought, disease, economic instability, wars, environmental pollution seem beyond man’s ability to eradicate.
One writer who was living in Lebanon during the civil war remembers sitting down and reading a newspaper. The article reported about the bombs, and the drive-by shootings, and the rival militias fighting in the streets. Then the writer turned the page and saw advertisements encouraging people to buy expensive Parisian perfumes and stylish clothes. It occurred to Mr. Friedman that hope is not like a flower but like a weed. A flower needs to be nurtured and tended. It is fragile and susceptible to the frost and soil conditions. Not so the weed. It can grow in the tiniest crack in a sidewalk, or flourish in a gravel pit. I notice that weeds can even push through from underneath pavement, with unrelenting persistence.
Hope can be dashed but it can’t be destroyed. As the wheat farmer says about his ruined and hailed-out crop, “There’s always next year.” Hope can rise again. The Bible speaks about a resilient hope: a hope that can not be quenched; a hope so deep that nothing on earth can destroy it; a hope that is not rooted in our jobs, or families, or children, or bank account; a hope that is not tethered to vacations, or sports, or material things; a hope that does not depend on stable, peaceful living conditions; a hope that cannot be destroyed by disease and ill health.
Job had experienced the loss of everything. Yet in that grievous time, he spoke through the darkness words of confidence and certainty. His words reflected a resilient hope rooted beyond life itself. So powerful did hope grow in his barren life, that he could say, even though he dies, hope would survive, but not just any hope. For the hope that never dies, the resilient Hope, is the hope found in God alone!