In the Old Testament, we see many occasions of restorations such as restoration of hope, of families, and even of kingdoms. We need hope for restoring the things we have lost, especially hope in God. Once, David had lost his family and the families of his warriors, which resulted in hostility from his supporters. Even in this worst situation, David did not lose hope in God (1 Samuel 30:6). As a result, God restored everything that he had lost.
Even today, if we want to get back the things we have lost, we have to trust God. Usually, we lose our hope in God when we come across difficult situations in our lives, such as a sudden financial difficulty, recent diagnoses of a terminal disease, a treacherous act of betrayal by a friend, or the death of someone we loved.
The author of the book of Hebrews says that our faith gains confidence while we receive what we hoped, and in turn, it assures us of getting things that we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). Sometimes the prevailing situations of our lives, snatches away our confidence and doubts about God and His salvation creeps into our minds. The scripture promises us a double portion of restoration of what we have lost in our lives, provided we trust in God.
Why do we Lose Hope?
We are privileged to worship the Creator and not His creations. But, in terms of His provisions, we fail to focus on the Provider. Philip looked only on the resources, thereby forgetting the provider when Jesus asked him to feed the crowd. Judas Iscariot did not understand the reason behind the woman anointing the feet of Jesus with the costliest perfume but estimated its value in terms of monetary benefit. Job’s wife placed her hope on Job’s sound health and wealth, and when he had lost those things, she persuaded Job to curse God and die. Job’s wife did not desire that Job should live with his sickness and poverty. She hated God for Job’s plight and lost her hope in Him.
Are we able to face difficult situations in our lives, or do we give up our hope in Him? Do we think that it is better to die than to suffer in this way? Is it possible for us to remain hopeful during our difficult situations? Like Job’s wife, satan wants us to die, giving up our hope in Him because his purpose is to kill our soul eternally (John 10:10). Fortunately, Jesus is praying to His Father to keep us safe in this world amidst all kinds of difficulties (John 17:15). Satan believes that we will not fear God if He does not bless us in our worldly realm (Job 1:8). We wonder that if not for our blessings, then for what else do we seek God. If we think on that line, satan might be right in his idea about us.
If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.1 Corinthians 15:19
God of Hope
Peter did not drown in the water till the time his eyes were on Jesus. If we fix our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2), our hopeless condition will turn into a hopeful situation. The water in which we only can swim or drown becomes a hard surface for Peter to walk on it. For Israelites, the life-threatening furious waves of the Red Sea stood on both sides as a concrete wall, thereby protecting the Israelites till they passed. God can use the same aspects that are threatening us, as tools for our protection.
Jesus told His disciples that they could not see Him for a while and that they would grieve. But when they see Him again, they will rejoice (John 16:16-19). If we do not look at Him, sorrow will consume us. God is near all of us (Acts 17:27), and He awaits near the hopeless hearts to give them hope (Psalm 34:18). Hope will be sprung in our hearts when we look at Him and His wondrous acts. Subsequently, we will receive the assurance for the forgiveness of our sins and the salvation which cannot be experienced by our own actions but by the power of His spirit.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.Romans 15:13
Prisoners of Hope
The scripture contains many promises about the restoration in double measure. This kind of restoration is available freely, but only the people who retain their hope in Him can obtain this blessing (Psalm 84:5-7). This call is open to those who are in grief that they should return to their fortress. Further, this promise is relevant only for the people who do not lose hope despite difficult situations.
In the New Testament, we see Paul & Silas as prisoners of hope. As they sing praises to the Sovereign God, not losing hope about their release, they were amazingly delivered from their prison to serve God. In the life of Job, satan believed that because of his earthly losses, he would lose hope and rebuke God. But Job did not lose hope and took his unfavourable condition as a study tool to learn lessons from God (Job 23:10). Through these study materials, Job was able to discern the divine plan of God for the restoration of human lives. He was able to foresee the resurrected Jesus Christ as His Redeemer.
I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God;Job 19:25-27
I myself will see him with my own eyes —I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
Restoration in Double Measure
Holding on to our guilt will ruin us gradually as it festers doubt and fear within us. It is the reason for most of our diseases and depressions (Psalms 32:3&4). When we return to our God and repent, we regain our hope as He forgives our sins. Then, He ignites our faith to accomplish His will in our lives. In Lystra, Paul observed the increasing hopefulness from the eyes of a lame man authored by the word of God. When his faith got saturated, Paul pronounced healing, and the man received healing.
Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.Acts 14:9-10
When we fix our eyes on Jesus, He authors our faith and finishes it too. In that process, we receive the Holy Spirit along with the love of God (Romans 5:5), and we become a channel of God’s love even to our enemies. In the scripture, Job was one of the persons, who received this love of God in his heart, that God Himself testified Job’s worthiness (Job 1:9). Job, a prisoner of hope, ignored his difficulties and prayed for the deliverance of his friends. As God knew Job’s heart, he told Job’s friends in advance that Job would pray for them, and He was going to answer his prayer (Job 42:10). Who knows, to how many of our enemies God told that we would be praying for them and He is going to deliver them? When Job prayed for his friends, God restored everything Job had lost, in double measure. A genuine and only way for receiving God’s manifold blessing is to,
Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope;Zechariah 9:12
even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.