8 May 2018
God gives us two especially important tools to carry us through life. And they are faith and hope. The angels have wings. We humans have faith and hope.
When Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown in prison, it was their faith and hope in God that got them through it. There they were, sitting in the pitch black prison cell…“singing hymns of praise to God.” And the next thing they knew, they were free. Faith and hope had unlocked the prison doors. And that has a lovely sound to it but, you know, they were in prison. But that experience of prison was necessary; it made them put their faith and hope into practice.
It’s like when Jesus says, “grief has filled your hearts. But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go [and leave you].” The disciples had to experience a certain “grief of heart,” not only so the Holy Spirit could come, but so they’d have to become people of real faith and hope. It’s one thing to believe in Jesus when he’s standing right there in the flesh; it’s another thing to have faith and hope when he’s not so visible. So Jesus had to go away—for their own good.
Any time in life we’re “tested,” it’s a chance to grow in faith and in hope; it’s a chance to use the “wings” God has given us. Sometimes God may seem absent. But we know he isn’t; he hasn’t left us to fend for ourselves. He’s right there, encouraging us along the ways of faith and hope.