I met a man yesterday that needed a ride to go pay his motel rent. He wanted to be dropped off in front of one of our home improvement stores. He told me he had half of his rent and he hoped to get enough at the store to be able to pay it. He was unemployed he said but wanted work. He did odd jobs while waiting on a construction job. He looked down and out and when you are reduced to begging that is to be expected.
I observed, as I talked to him, that he might have been down but he wasn’t out. I thought he wanted out at the construction end of the store that he intended to panhandle but as I drove away it dawned on me that he was going to ask for a job from the contractors rather than money.
“I’ve lost everything but my health,” he said. “God has been good to me.” I should have said to him you have one more thing, hope. Hope is a great gift of faith. As long as God has me there is hope. I hope the gentleman found a job and was able to pay his rent. If not, I hope he didn’t lose hope.
Grace asked me if I gave him money and I said no. I could have paid his rent for the day but for some reason I felt he didn’t want money from me. He never asked. He kept saying he thought he could get the money before the day was over. He wanted to work. I hope I did the right thing.
There are so many people who have lost hope, not only in this life but also in the life to come. They have given up on a future here and worse, a future hereafter.
What is worse than being hungry for food? Not being hungry for God. Having no hope for tomorrow is indeed sad but not as sad as having no hope for eternity. Listen to this unfortunate lament in Job 7:6 “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle,
And come to an end without hope.” All who are without Jesus are without God and without God there is no hope. Paul tells the Ephesians, “…remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world,” (2:12-13).
If we lose the whole world but have God we are not hopeless. If we gain the whole world and lose God we are without hope. The only thing that keeps us from eternal hope is a refusal to know God and his Son in a relational way.