Bible Book: Isaiah / Jesaja
Chapter: 43
Verse: 16
Verse (to): 21

Text: Isaiah 43:16-21

“Hope” has become a popular word. Preachers, politicians and even advertisements use it daily. The excessive use of the word can easily purge the real meaning of the word. This can result in a situation where we may think that hope is not important at all. Therefore it is necessary to say: together with love and faith hope is of crucial importance (cf. 1 Cor 13:13). To give hope is to give life. When you lose or take away hope, you endanger life.
This is illustrated by what Victor E Frankl wrote in 1946 when reflecting on his experiences in concentration camps during the Second World War:
“The prisoner who had lost faith in the future – his future – was doomed. With his loss of belief in the future, he also lost his spiritual hold; he let himself decline and became subject to mental and physical decay. Usually this happened quite suddenly, in the form of a crises, the symptoms of which were familiar to the experienced camp inmate” (Man’s search for meaning, V E Frankl, Hodder and Stoughton, 1971, p 74).
Where do we get hope? How is hope created? How can we keep hope? These questions are most relevant when living with HIV. Because many people living with HIV are aware that they live with a terminal sickness.
The prophet Isaiah has an answer to the quest for hope: discover that the God of Israel is the God who can do new things. “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (verse 19).
There may be some comfort in remembering the past, but not life-giving hope (cf. verse 18). That is found in remembering who God is. The God who delivered his people from slavery and made a way for them through the sea (cf. verse 16). The God who delivered his Son from the grave. The God who can create new things even in our times (cf. verse 19).
No wonder that Paul calls this God the “God of hope” who through the Holy Spirit gives us to “abound in hope” (Romans 15:13).
To think about (or discuss): What are the reasons for the hope you have?
Author: N du Toit (Ds)
Language: English