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Has God Abandoned Me?

Have you ever felt this way, distant from God, feeling all alone and separated? One did: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" We recall Job's heart-rending agony of Job 14:1-22. Alexander Pope's aphorism on hope, which states that hope "spring eternal in the human heart," reveals how essential to life hope is. And finally, recall that 9/11 moment filled with such pain, injustice, uncertainty and destruction. Yet, many found something more solid, something more essential, and something that will not disappoint - hope in Christ!

Many of our readers manifested this same hope when they shouldered a weapon and went downrange. Yet others lost this when they came home and found the nation that they loved in economic disarray, injustice, political polarization, etc. the tendency was to respond in despair and loneliness, feeling much like the Psalmist of old: "By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept when we remembered the way it was...How shall we now sing the Lord's song?" (Psalm 137:1, 4).

In reality, our hope is found in the crucible of fire. Paul said it so well: "We boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has given to us" (Roans 5:3-5). Take a few moments and red the hope expressed by Isaiah in Isaiah 40:6-8, 28-31.

W.S. Sangster said to his London congregation during the dark days of WW II, "When hope is dead, hope on." The writer of Hebrews speaks of "the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul" (Hebrews 6:19).

Many define hope as "believing something you know is not true." Millions see hope as wanting something that will never be realized. The world's view of hope is a retreat from reality, an empty illusion, ad irrational. However, there is a great chasm between this worldview of hope ant that hope given by Christ. The chasm is sin; the hope is Christ: "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27).

Finally, we have this word of hope from Christ: "I will never fail you nor forsake you." Hence we can with confidence say, "The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid; what can man do to me" (Hebrews 13:6).

--Tom Seals

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