Hope is such a beautiful thing, the very reason for our being. It is easy to have hope when things are well. But what about when we face storms that are turbulent, unpredictable and seem to have no glimmer of good in them? It is in these situations that we need to ask ourselves: “Where does our hope lie?”
The truth is: if our hope lies in our strength, our friends, our jobs or in the things of this world, most assuredly, they will fail us. However, if we place our hope in Jesus, His Word tells us we will never be disappointed. Let us explore the reason for our hope through three wonderful truths that we can glean from observing one of God’s most remarkable creatures — the mighty eagle.
Fact: Eagles are ferocious birds of prey. And yet, there is arguably no other member of the avian family that is more gentle and attentive towards its young. Noticeably, one of the parents always stays close to the eaglets while the other hunts for food. When the latter returns, it carefully shreds and places the food directly into the eaglets’ hungry mouths. Eagles can also often be seen hovering over their young. When faced with danger, they hide their babies safely under their strong, broad wings — some spanning six to seven feet!
When we find ourselves in the midst of an unexpected storm, it helps to sit in the presence of the Lord and ask Him to show us how much He loves us. God’s Word describes His deep love like an ocean — vast, unmeasured, boundless and free. When the depths of His love overtake the innermost recesses of our souls, suddenly, our problems, worries and sorrows get drowned out in the undercurrent of His love. Consider these assurances from His Word:
The One who can calm the storm outside of us can calm the storm within us too
In every storm, there is something called the “eye of the storm”. It is a little area that looks like an eye wherein there is absolute peace, yet all around it is where the storm rages the fiercest. Being a Christian does not exempt us from such storms, but God has this assurance for us: the One who can calm the storm outside of us can calm the storm within us too.
Eagles are not born with strong and mighty wings. They start off as clumsy and fearful little chicks that are taught to fly. Over time, its flight muscles gain strength, thanks to countless hours of practice. When the time is right, its mother, out of tender love, pushes the eaglet out the nest. She knows that without such a critical life skill, an eaglet will never be able to fly the great heights of over 10,000 feet that its species is known for.
Deuteronomy 32:10-12 reminds us that it is only when we are pushed out of our ‘nests’ or comfort zones that we get trained to lift our eyes upwards to Him. The struggles in our lives are meant to teach us to exercise our faith in God. Little by little, our characters are chiselled and transformed along with our circumstances. And before we know it, we are no longer the people we were when we began. That is the beauty of God. He will change our fears into faith and our hopelessness into steadfast hope.
He will change our fears into faith and our hopelessness into steadfast hope
Romans 3:5 teaches us that, for a Christian, hope is a result of suffering, not the end of it. It rests in the knowledge that God loves us and does all things for our good. When we are grounded in the love of God, no blast of hell or storm in life can ever uproot us.
As Paul says in Romans 8:38-39: “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Years of being imprisoned, shipwrecked, flogged, naked and without food are what taught Paul that “in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). We are assured victory in every situation, because He is with us!
But what if the storm continues to persist as the days go by? We fervently pray for change, yet the status quo remains. It is only natural to feel worn out and fearful in these times. But Isaiah 40:3 says that “those who hope in the Lord shall renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles…”
What really sets an eagle apart from other birds is its ability to handle storms. It perches itself high on a clifftop and doesn’t cower like the smaller birds on the ground. When the storm rages, the eagle uses the storm winds to soar higher, effortlessly gliding above the storm without tiring. What makes the eagle different from many of the other birds? It has no fear of the storm. This ability was not gained overnight, but from all those early flying lessons on perseverance.
It is this truth that should set the children of God apart from the rest of the world. We need not fear the storms of life, no matter how turbulent. On the contrary, all our past experiences in God should serve to anchor our trust and faith in Him, because He has promised to “strengthen, help and uphold” us (Isaiah 40:3).
Did you notice the verse says the Lord has promised to not just hold but to “uphold”, meaning to lift upwards or to raise? He upholds us from the worst that life may throw at us through the gift of endurance. Therefore, with Him, we can soar above the storms in life — just like the eagles do.
God upholds us from the worst that life may throw at us through the gift of endurance
There are many things that God may choose to take away in our lives: our health, livelihood, even loved ones. But when God takes away something dear to us, the Christian experience is that He will always replace it with something far greater. He will give us His sustaining grace when we are weak, His abundant joy when we are bitter, and His glorious presence when we are lonely.
Former athlete Joni Eareckson Tada has been a quadriplegic for the past 52 years due to a diving accident. Yet, she’s often quoted as saying, “I would never trade this preciousness, this closeness, this intimacy that I have with my Saviour, with all the walking in this world.”
God takes us through storms to draw us nearer to Him and experience Him firsthand. We are safest when we are with Him — even in the middle of a raging storm — than we are anywhere else on earth without Him. He alone is our living, unfading hope when all else is hopeless.
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