By Gerjo Ben Van Der Merwe
I posted a picture to Instagram of a boxer sitting with his head hanging down between his hands. I’m tired. I can’t go on. I don’t know where to now. I don’t know if there’s anything left to believe in.
The heading is simple: Don’t allow hard times to steal your faith. Just that. That photograph hit 60 000 walls on Facebook. Amazed, I wondered why this one made such an impact. Then I realised, hardship is such a reality of our lives today. So many people are suffering out there and when your suffering drives you to tears, your faith flies out the back door together with all your questions.
When the sun isn’t shining, it is difficult to believe that the sun exists.
But when we are going through hard times, it is important that we hope for a new life. 16… God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting comfort and hope... (Living Bible). We must focus on the picture of God’s new world that is our destination. We must be able to see the picture of the effortless world without hardship and pain before us. Put your hope in that picture so that you can keep on going through the hard times.
Just look at the lyrics of this beautiful song about hope (sung by Adrienne Camp):
In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My comforter, my all in all
Here in the love of Christ I stand
In Christ alone who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
Till on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live
There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
We must bring hope to a hopeless world. We must stand together and dream together about a better world. But even more, we should stand together and bring back hope by taking hands and showing people a picture of that new world. Filled with hope we must give others hope. We must lead to believe and hope again and to know that things will get better again.
And all of it is grace.
Where do you hurt and suffer hardship?
Do you still have hope for a better world?
Where can you get hope?
Father, it’s not so easy to hope when things around and inside us look like the way they do. Sometimes it seems and feels as if the sun will never shine again. But like Jesus rose from the dead, I will rise from my hardship, because You give me hope for an eternal life without suffering. Amen