British minister, Bible teacher, and author G. Campbell Morgan.
According to Morgan, a man’s business was lost in the great Chicago fire of 1871. The man
arrived at the ruins of his business the next morning carrying a table. He set it up in the middle of
the charred debris and put a sign above it that read, “Everything lost except wife, children, and
hope. Business will be resumed as usual tomorrow morning.”
After telling the story, Maxwell asked, “After such a heavy loss, where did he get his hope? From the circumstances? Certainly not. From good timing? No. From other victims of the fire? There’s no indication that he did. How many others faced the future with such positive determination? If this man saw a bright future for himself and his family, it was because he made a choice to have hope.”
True hope is more than just wishful thinking. Biblically speaking, it is desire plus expectation. With Maxwell, I believe it is a choice. But this choice is not without foundation. It is firmly rooted in the faithfulness of God and the sureness of His Word.
The Bible has much to say about hope. Romans 8:24 declares that hope saves us. Hebrews 6:19 says hope is the anchor for our soul. Romans 5:5 promises that hope will not disappoint us. 1 Corinthians 13:13 lists hope as one of the three great abiding things, surpassed only by love.
I know these are trying times. It seems the news is bad and getting worse. We are faced with many fears. Though in a different context, Thomas Paine said, “These are the times that try men’s souls.”
While using common sense and taking reasonable precautions, we must trust in the Lord. He will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). He has a way of making good come from bad (Romans 8:28). Our ultimate hope is always for an eternity in heaven with Him (1 Peter 1:3-4).
My appeal to all of us is to not give up, not to lose hope. Maxwell wrote, “Hope is in the DNA of men and women who learn from their loses. When things are tough, they choose hope, knowing that it will motivate them to learn and turn from victims into victors.”
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).