Hope Is Our Strat­egy

Palawan Daily News - - Opinion - K. T. Sim

My fa­vorite foot­ball team has lost eight con­sec­u­tive games as I write this. With each loss, it’s harder to hope this sea­son can be re­deemed for them. The coach has made changes weekly, but they haven’t re­sulted in wins. Talk­ing with my co­work­ers, I’ve joked that merely want­ing a dif­fer­ent out­come can’t guar­an­tee it. “Hope is not a strat­egy,” I’ve quipped.

That’s true in foot­ball. But in our spir­i­tual lives, it’s just the op­po­site. Not only is cul­ti­vat­ing hope in God a strat­egy, but cling­ing to Him in faith and trust is the only strat­egy. This world of­ten dis­ap­points us, but hope can an­chor us in God’s truth and power dur­ing the tur­bu­lent times.

Micah un­der­stood this re­al­ity. He was heart­bro­ken by how Is­rael had turned away from God. “What mis­ery is mine! . . . The faith­ful have been swept from the land; not one up­right per­son re­mains” (7:1–2). But then he re­fo­cused on his true hope: “But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Sav­ior; my God will hear me” (v. 7).

What does it take to main­tain hope in harsh times? Micah shows us: Watch­ing. Wait­ing. Pray­ing. Re­mem­ber­ing. God hears our cries even when our cir­cum­stances are over­whelm­ing. In these mo­ments, cling­ing to and act­ing in re­sponse to our hope in God is our strat­egy, the only strat­egy that will help us weather life’s storms.

Fa­ther, You’ve promised to be an an­chor for our hearts when cir­cum­stances look dis­cour­ag­ing. Help us call out to You in faith and hope, be­liev­ing that You hear our hearts’ cries.

IN­SIGHT

Micah proph­e­sied some sixty-five years to Is­rael and Ju­dah dur­ing the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (Micah 1:1). He was a con­tem­po­rary with Hosea, who proph­e­sied to Is­rael (Hosea 1:1), and to Isa­iah, who proph­e­sied to Ju­dah (Isa­iah 1:1). Ac­cus­ing God’s peo­ple of idol­a­try, mo­ral cor­rup­tion, op­pres­sion (Micah 1:7; 2:1–2; 3:9–11), Micah warned of God’s dis­ci­pline. He called the peo­ple “to act justly and to love mercy” (6:8). His proph­esy that Is­rael would be de­stroyed (1:6) came to pass in 722 bc (2 Kings 17:5–7). Micah also warned that “[Ju­dah] will be­come a heap of rub­ble” (Micah 3:12). Be­cause Hezekiah, the king of Ju­dah, re­pented, Jerusalem was spared de­struc­tion from the in­vad­ing Assyr­i­ans (2 Chron­i­cles 32:20–22; Jeremiah 26:18–19).

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