The Hope of Love in Darkest Days
The English word “hope” often refers to a wish that may never come true. But there’s another hope. It is not a dream, but reality…not a wish, but certainty…not requested, but expected.
Yet it can be misused for judging faith. We find doubt and assume unbelief. We hear questions and see weakness. When we should love and encourage one another, we instead pass judgment as we pass by. Even on ourselves.
But when the days are darkest, no one escapes desperation. “God, don’t let him die!” “Spare her life!” “Why don’t you hear me?” “Why is this happening?” “What have I done to deserve this?” “Take this cup from me!” Does the last one sound familiar? 1
Hope is in the love of God who gives us strength.
When Jesus spoke these words, did He lack faith? Was He hopeless? No! He knew what it was like to feel such pain and desperation. He knew such cries were not about faith and hope, but the nature of our humanity that He shares with us. He understands.
Our own cries are not a sign of weakness, as some would claim, but the beginning of strength. For when joined with a determination to follow the will of God, frail humanity becomes a witness of absolute love.
It is not the love from God, but the love of God that brings us hope; not what He gives but what He is that carries us through the storm. And we will stand, for He will make us stand…in His strength, not our own. 2
The Hope of Love
The days are dark with fear and dread. My life is cursed, so it’s been said
By those who stroll the farther side, who called, “My friend,” through lips that lied.
My strength is weak, I hardly see…the love from Him who died for me.
For me? Such things do not ring true in desperate hearts all torn in two,
Where dreams of happiness seem lost, where each step seems not worth the cost.
My strength has failed, I cannot see…the love from Him who died for me.
Yet deep within my soul there lives the presence of a hope that gives
Some bit of faith I can’t deny, no matter if or how I try
My strength is gone, how do I see…the love from Him who died for me?
And then a thought, not from but of is how we come to find His love.
When from would seek what “I” demand, I could not know or understand
His strength is near, nor could I see…the love from Him who died for me.
It’s in the of where I will find He lives within my heart and mind,
To lead me through my darkest night and to good hope beyond my sight.
His strength’s enough, and now I see…the love of Him who died for me. 3
In your darkest days, God, who has loved you and given you eternal encouragement and good hope, will encourage your heart and give you strength.
Chuck Graham is Founder and Executive Director of Ciloa, an international ministry devoted to encouraging others and teaching them how to encourage one another. He is also an author and speaker. Chuck and his wife, Beverly, live in Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA. Learn more about Chuck and Ciloa at www.Ciloa.org.
Footnotes: (1) Read Mark 14:36. (2) Read Romans 14:4. (3) The Hope of Love by Chuck Graham, 2008.
Pictures: Banner Photo: Posnov/Getty Images. 1st and 2nd Photos: From originals by Steve Halama/Unsplash.