Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
By Chris WittsSunday 21 Feb 2021Morning Devotions with Chris Witts
I’m sure you’re familiar with the old song “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, known by millions of people from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel—sung at football games around the world, and one of the most popular tunes ever.
You know the words:
When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark.
At the end of a storm there’s a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark.
Walk on through the wind,
Walk on through the rain,
Tho’ your dreams be tossed and blown.
Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone,
You’ll never, ever walk alone.
Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
Hope is a feeling there is meaning to life and a purpose for you and me. I like the words ‘walk on with hope in your heart’.
Hope is really quite simple but yet so profound. It seems rather unlikely that the 33 miners in Chile, who were trapped in the mine back in August 2010, would have survived had it not been for hope. Indeed, it is owing to hope that they found a way to nourish and keep themselves alive for some 69 days—they thought of their wives, girlfriends, and children. That is surely profound. What was their hope? It was none other than the belief that somehow things would work out. And thank God they were rescued.
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What Hope Is About
The Bible has many references to God’s people who ran out of hope, and yet God came to them, just as he can come to you:
- Psalm 143:7-8 (GNT): “Answer me now, LORD! I have lost all hope…Remind me each morning of your constant love, for I put my trust in you…”
- Psalm 39:7 (ESV): “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.”
- Proverbs 23:17-18 (CEV): “…always honour the Lord. Then you will really have hope for the future.”
You might recognise the name Elka Graham (Whalan). Elka is a retired Australian swimmer who competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2004 Athens Olympics. She specialised in the 200m and 400m freestyle events, also swimming the 800m freestyle. Her simple creed has always been: Attitude, Effort and Persistence. She is also a committed Christian. Terry Robson, in his book Failure is an Option. How setbacks breed success, quotes Elka. She said:
I was brought up in Christianity and honestly believed it. I wasn’t forced into Sunday school. Around the age of 15 or 16 I drifted away from church. I never stopped believing in God. I’d say my prayers when I got up on the blocks or if I was nervous. I always felt He was part of my life. But I went back to church, and now He blesses me every day. I can wake up every morning, and even if it’s raining, I’m grateful. I have a great relationship with God; I get great answers from Him and He helps me with things that I pray over. (pp. 232-233).
We Cannot Go Without Hope
This is what hope is all about—becoming a reality each day. Not just theory or a nice word. C. Neil Strait said:
Take from a man his wealth, and you hinder him; take from him his purpose, and you slow him down. But take from man his hope, and you stop him. He can go on without wealth, and even without purpose, for a while. But he will not go on without hope.
Bill Lawton once wrote:
Life with all its possibilities has to be faced alone. Optimism is about facing life’s opportunities with hope…that now, this very day, I can keep love alive in actions and decisions that change me and change those around me.
Here’s what Paul says in Romans 15:13 (ESV): “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” The great man Paul said in Romans 12:12 (NLT): “Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.”
When Job in the Old Testament had his personal experience of tragedy and loss, and felt no hope, one of his friends named Bildad said, “Such is the hopeless future of all who turn from God and trust in something as frail as a spider’s web.” (Job 8:13-14 – CEV).