Dear Hope family,

Thought for the Week

“When Hopes are dashed”

Romans 4v18 “In hope, he believed against hope.” (NIV)

Sometimes we can “hope against hope” that it is not going to happen, but sadly it unfolds.

The term “hope against hope” is an expression meaning to hope in what seems impossible. It is taken from Abraham who “in hope he believed against hope that he would become the father of many nations as he had been told.” (Romans 4v18). The key to his hope in the impossible is the phrase, “as he had been told”. We can “hope against hope” with validity where God has explicitly said – but the journey to see it may be a roller coaster!

Today we have been greeted with news of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. How should we as God’s people respond? Maybe the following will help:

  • Jesus wept over Jerusalem because he knew destruction was coming (Luke 19v41-44). It is right for us to weep over Ukraine and its people at this time. We feel compassion for the Ukrainian people.
  • Paul taught us to pray “for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” 1 Timothy 2v1-2. We should pray for those with authority in the situation.
  • The New Testament is full of the care between churches in different regions. This is actively encouraged by Paul and was part of his ministry as he transported money from one region to another. We should follow their example and support our brothers and sisters in Ukraine both in prayer and materially (eg 2 Corinthians 8v14). We think particularly of Igor and the churches in his grouping and the work of BreadTrust.
  • In Daniel, there is much about God raising up and casting down world leaders both in his own time and in prophecy for times to come. God is Sovereign. We may well ask why God allows this to happen, but he has said he will allow evil to continue to operate until the end when Christ returns. Our hope is not in this world, but in Christ, his return and his eternal kingdom.
  • We also know that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” (Romans 8v28). We can trust God to bring good in some way through this – and because he has promised, we can pray that this is so.

May the compassion of Christ fill our hearts and the God of all hope give you assurance.

With love and blessing,