“Facing Crisis with Optimistic HOPE”
Dr. Gary M. Barker
Published in Paso Robles Press 4.8.20
Is it really possible to have hopefulness, confidence, and a bright prospect about the future in our current time of crisis even though its magnitude is unprecedented in many of our lives? From a biblical perspective I can answer this question with a positive YES! May I share with you an old but comforting saying? “The Future is as bright as the PROMISES of God”. The apostle Peter said that God’s promises are “exceedingly great and precious” (2 Peter 1:4). Because God is TRUE, His faithfulness to keep His promises is absolutely reliable. Many centuries ago the prophet Jeremiah proclaimed in Lamentation 3:22-23: “It is because of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed because His compassions FAIL NOT. They are new every morning: GREAT is THY FAITHFULNESS.” As believers in the Bible, which I believe is God’s Word, we believe that God will always do what He has promised because it is impossible for Him to LIE (Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18). God’s promises are the basis of our hope.
The following list of promises of God should inspire optimistic hope.
- God is with us and will never forsake us. (Deuteronomy 31:6, Matthew 28:20, Hebrews 13:5-6). These promises assure us that our Almighty God’s power, love, care, and provision will be available to believers who trust Him. God is with us in this crisis.
- God promises to NOT PERMIT believers to be tested in a crisis that He will not enable them to endure and learn from (1 Corinthians 10:13, James 1:2-5, 1 Peter 1:6-7). In times of crisis, God wants us to learn to trust Him to be sufficient to meet our every need and NOT to depend upon ourselves (2 Corinthians 1:8-10). The apostle Paul stated in the previous verses that God delivered him from death and thru this very difficult situation he learned to trust God and not himself.
- God has promised to meet the NEEDS of believers who trust Him thru Prayer. (Matthew 6:25-34). Jesus taught His disciples that they were not to worry about the future but by faith to trust and seek God’s righteousness and God would meet all their needs. The apostle Paul proclaimed this same truth in Philippians 4:19: ”But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
I honestly must admit that I don’t know what would inspire lasting and comforting hope a part from trusting God. This is especially true when a person faces the possibility of death. Because of God’s promises, believers can in confident faith and hope face any circumstance that might occur. King David in the well known Psalm 23 declared that because the Lord was his Shepherd, He knew all his needs would be met and the presence of the Lord would enable him to not fear death. David knew he would dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Let’s trust God and His exceedingly great and precious promises and have an optimistic hope as we get thru this crisis together thru prayer. Let’s pray together for two important things.
1) That God would give our leaders wisdom to solve this crisis,
2) That God’s grace would strengthen us to handle in our weakness any trial we might face (2 Corinthian 12:9-10): ”My strength is made perfect in weakness”