There’s Still Hope — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

There’s Still Hope — Morning Devotions

There are moments when we need to prepare for the worst. It's then when we need hope. God has promised a future of hope if we seek his will.

By Chris WittsSunday 5 Nov 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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The news reported something very dramatic back on 15 January 2009 when US Airways flight 1549 departed from New York City heading to Carolina.

Suddenly the captain’s voice came over the intercom to the passengers, “Brace for impact!” Many of those passengers believed it meant to prepare for their final moment here on earth. They thought they were going to die.

Can you imagine how that would have felt? But it wasn’t to be. The plane successfully came down on the frozen Hudson river. It was an incredible landing, and came to be known as the ‘Miracle on the Hudson’. People said, “The plane crash gave us hope and a renewed appreciation for life.” If you saw the news on TV you might recall that ferry boats immediately came to their rescue as the anxious passengers waited on the wings of the plane. All 150 onboard that plane survived. It was indeed the ‘Miracle on the Hudson’.

Dorothy Firman and Kevin Quirk are the authors of a new book, Brace for Impact: Miracle on the Hudson – Survivors Share Their Stories of Near Death and Hope for New Life. In their research they learned of countless amazing acts of courage, grace, selflessness, and compassion. They wrote:

Something was guiding them, some force that brings out the best in the human condition. Many wondered if this was some kind of sign. At our country’s time of economic turmoil, struggle, pain, and uncertainty, could this have been a signal that someone or something was looking out for us? That there was reason to hope? That something good really can come from something that looks bad—very, very bad?

That day in those final moments before the plane hit the water many of the passengers turned to God in prayer. Looking back on that experience one year later, passenger Don Norton said:

We went through an incredibly traumatic event. But here’s the amazing thing: No matter what our challenges or struggles may be, it really doesn’t have to be so bad, so hopeless. We can still get up every day and appreciate the sunshine, and the rain. We can still breathe. We can still love. I feel like I’m a better husband, father, person since the crash. I wouldn’t want to go through it again, but I definitely like the effects of what happened.

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A Future of Hope

I have a feeling we resonate with this story because we think, It could have been me. Or, I know a friend who has faced tragedy or mishap. We have all faced life’s difficulties, challenges, battles and defeats. We’ve faced (or perhaps are facing) dark moments, and a situation when conditions appeared to be bleak. Most of us I suspect have had moments when we, like the passengers of flight 1549, have needed to ‘brace for impact’ to survive.

In such times we, too, have sought hope. And we have survived, by the grace of God! We, too, have been touched by grace. We have had compassionate hands reaching out to us in difficult times or wrapping us with care and support. We have been granted second chances. Hope appeared in some form through grace to enable us to not only survive but to thrive. That’s how hope works!

In the Bible, God has a wonderful promise of hope in Jeremiah 29:11, “I will bless you with a future of hope”. This is not a ‘hope it works out somehow’; Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our hope and strength. Always present in times of trouble”. It is important to remember this Psalm was written thousands of years ago, so it is not only for our current situation, but it provides hope for every person, in every situation—at all times—if they put their trust in God. Psalm 31:15 makes the simple statement to God, “My life is in your hands”.

Kathy Troccoli in her song “My Life is in Your Hands” said,

My life is in your hands
My heart is in your keeping
I’m never without hope
Not when my future is with you.
My life is in your hands
And though I may not see clearly
I will lift my voice and sing
Cause your love does amazing things.
Lord, I know, my life is in your hands.

Seeking God’s Will

How do we make plans according to what God says? We have no control over what happens today or tomorrow, just as the 150 passengers on board that plane experienced. Were they ready to die? What could they have done? Yes, it’s an awful thought, but it says to me how vital it is to seek God’s will. Then we can be ready for anything, even a plane crash.

  1. We need to humble ourselves before God. Surrender yourself to his authority. Welcome God in your life by asking his Son Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord. Be willing to follow his will.
  2. We need to pray. Seriously talk to God and ask God what is the best way to live your life—maybe as young man or woman, family person, student, retiree, as a professional or a business person. Ephesians 5:15-17 says: “Be very careful, then, how you live– not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
  3. We soak our minds and hearts in God’s Word. Most of God’s will for our lives is written in the Scriptures. They come in the form of commands, promises, warnings, and encouragements. Romans 12:2 says: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

George Truett said, “To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge; to find the will of God is the greatest discovery; to do the will of God is the greatest achievement.”

Faith looks beyond this transient life
With hope for all eternity—
Not with some vague and wistful hope,
But with firm trust and certainty. – D. De Haan