We wait in hope fort he LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, Oh Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.
Psalm 33, 20 – 22
An old German proverb says: "Hope and wait turns some people into a fool." Nobody wants to be a fool. But most of us know useless hopes. Including myself. Persevere and no success? Yes do I know!
I am convinced that each person knows these hopes: "It has to get better someday! It must finally be worthwhile what I do! The big feeling of happiness will get to me someday! "
To hope in vain, to wait in vain, this has disappointed many to no great extent. And it has even embittered myself when my hopes were destroyed by intrigues, false promises, lies. Those who suffered from it do not believe in anything anymore easily.
What to do? To accept the situation? Do not expect anything anymore?! Nothing from other people, and certainly not from God? What should one expect from God?
But there is this this hope that makes no one a fool. There is a hope that makes sense: The Lord Jesus Christ! I can trust in him and await everything from him.
1. Hope means trust
He who puts his hope in another person does this because he trusts him. I can think of a woman who had a serious eye disease. She was looking for a specialist and put all her hope in this doctor. But then she was bitterly disappointed. Medical art did not bring the hoped-for success. The miracle did not happen.
Many people hope for political change. They vote in elections for politicians who promise them hope. Hopes for new jobs, prosperity, social justice, environmental protection.
In the German refugee crisis in 2015, German Chancellor Angela Merkel conveyed hope to the Germans to solve this challenge by her legendary sentence: "We can manage it!"
In four words, President Donald Trump raised hopes among many Americans:
"Make America great again!"
Creating something new was promised by the French President Emmanuel Macron with the "En Marche - feeling". In a comment, someone wrote, "I believe in him. I trust him!"
What are your hopes for politicians in your country? In a German newspaper a journalist wrote "It is part of a healthy democracy that the citizens do not believe their politicians everything." (Boris Herrmann, SZ v. 9.8.2018, "Faith is missing")
Keeping a healthy dose of skepticism with the promises of politicians, that's what I can agree as well . Stay sober and do not blindly trust each promise right away.
Do we need this skepticism when we believe in God? Or on the contrary, do we have full confidence? The psalmist says, "I hope for the living God." Where does he take this trust from? He can trust God because he has never been disappointed in Him. He knows God!
Trust always needs a counterpart, it needs a face. The same is true in politics and in relationships. The woman with the eye disease trusted a in very special
doctor. She wanted her operation being done by him. She had heard of him. He had been recommended to her. She wanted to be treated by him. Not by his deputy.
So - trust needs a counterpart, a face. Our faith in God has such a face. We Christians know God by name: The Lord Jesus Christ. I can trust in him. I know the many accounts of people who put their faith in him and nobody was ever disappointed. Including myself! Some time ago I also said: Jesus Christ, I trust in you! I entrust my life to you. I no longer place my hopes on others, but on you. Since then, the risen and living Lord Jesus Christ has filled my life with faith, love and hope.
This however did not spare myself from human disappointments. Even as a Christian, I was disappointed by people, by other Christians. This unfortunately cannot be ruled out. Even Christians remain people with mistakes and weaknesses. Who knows how many times I have disappointed others as well? Who placed hopes in me, which I could not fulfill?
But the Lord Jesus Christ never disappointed me. His word is true and delivers what it promises! You can take my word on this for granted!
2. Trust in God, the Father
To see God as a loving Father is difficult for many people. We have different father experiences which have shaped our impressions. Those who never knew their father may lack a positive father experience. Somebody who has only experienced his father as an alcoholic who was beating the mother or under whom he has suffered does not associate anything good with the word "father".
Traumatic childhood experiences can destroy the image of God as the "loving father". Not all know this great trust that small children have in adults. Do you know this joy when small children climb on top of a wall and jump into open arms? Wonderful childhood experiences that shape children. Jump in open arms of the dad, the mom, the aunt, the grandpa. And the following happiness about it from both sides!
"He is all our joy, we trust in him, the holy God," writes the psalm-worshiper. He is happy, too! His trust in the holy God fills him with joy! Satisfied trust leads to joy.
The bible text invites to trust the loving Father in heaven. That can be translated as, I "jump from every wall" in God's arms. I am quite sure, my God, will catch me.
You, my father in heaven, will not let me fall down. You do not forsake me. Even if it seems an endless jump. And even though I get scared sometimes: I trust in you! I hope for your
strong arms, I hope for your strength. I long to be safe in your arms infinitely.
So I think we should keep a healthy dose of skepticism versus politics. I do not want to trust false promises any more. I could quickly turn into a fool. But I want to trust in God, the Father in Heaven. He welcomes you and me with open arms.
I do wish you this firm trust in God, the Father, and in Jesus Christ, the Son. "Because you are his children, God gave you his Spirit, the same Spirit that the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ has. Therefore, in prayer we may say to God, Dear Father! "(Galatians 4: 6)