“What, then, can I hope for, Lord? I put my hope in you”.
Ps 39:7 GNB
In a recent televised tennis match the commentators observed that one player was getting the upper hand. One commentator said, “The only thing the loser can hope for now is that he’ll be put out of his misery quickly”. “No”, the other expert said. “He can still hope the guy on top will start making mistakes and plenty of them”. Hope is probably the most potent motivator in human experience. It enables people to hold on in adversity, it spurs them to action, it makes them dream of victory. It is often the difference between success and failure.
The psalm-writer had “seen it all”. Into his superficially confident faith there had come hardship and suffering. He had had to think hard about what faith was and who God was. He had sought something deeper in life than “happiness”. He had seen that success was a short fleeting moment. Like the poet Kipling, he had come to see that triumph and disaster were just two impostors. There was only one way left. It was to hope in God and in him alone, irrespective of the outward circumstances. All else was a sham.
“It is only the man who has grasped the transient character, the futility, of all human nature in the sight of God who comes to understand the true nature of God and realizes that it is in God alone that he is able to find comfort and support when every human support has proved unreliable” (A. Weiser,The Psalms, p329).
When Jesus came he pointed to the kingly rule of God, and called on his followers to have faith, hope and love. This was real life.
Lord, enable me always to put my hope in you.