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Hope

July 19, 2010
July 19, 2010 — by Julie Ackerman Link
 
You are my hope, O Lord God; You are my trust from my youth. —Psalm 71:5

The ancient road from Jerusalem to Jericho is a narrow, treacherous path along a deep gorge in the Judean wilderness. Its name is Wadi Kelt, but it’s known as the valley of the shadow, for this is the location that inspired David’s 23rd Psalm. The place itself offers little reason to compose such a hopeful poem. The landscape is bleak, barren, and perilously steep. It’s a good place for thieves, but not for anyone else.

When David wrote, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil” (v.4), he was in a place where evil was an ever-present reality. Yet he refused to give in to fear. He wasn’t expressing hope that God would abolish evil so that he could pass through safely; he was saying that the presence of God gave him the confidence to pass through difficult places without fear of being deserted by Him. In another psalm, David said that the Lord was his hope (71:5).

Many claim to have hope, but only those whose hope is Christ can claim it with certainty. Hope comes not from strength, intelligence, or favorable circumstances, but from the Lord. As Maker of heaven and earth, He alone has the right to promise hope and the power to keep the promise.

Our strength and hope is in the Lord—
We rest secure in His sure Word;
And though we’re tempted to despair
We know we’re kept within His care. —D. De Haan

Hope for the Christian is a certainty—because its basis is Christ.

Psalm 23

A Psalm of David.

 1 The LORD is my shepherd;
         I shall not want.
 2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
         He leads me beside the still waters.
 3 He restores my soul;
         He leads me in the paths of righteousness
         For His name’s sake.
         
 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
         I will fear no evil;
         For You are with me;
         Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
         
 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
         You anoint my head with oil;
         My cup runs over.
 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
         All the days of my life;
         And I will dwell in the house of the LORD
         Forever.

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