When people with a secular, humanistic worldview talk about hope, I can’t help but wonder what they hope in.
When the son of one of my neighbors was going through treatments for cancer, she talked about the importance of hope. But I know she sees herself as a “scientist”, and as such, she considers Biblical faith in a Creator God, a miracle-working God, a God who is involved in the affairs of people who love and trust Him to be the crutch of the unenlightened. So what or who was she hoping in? Science? Medicine?
As good as medical science has become, there are still so many illnesses and human maladies for which it has no answer. While science has found ways to cure 90%+ of childhood leukemia which her son was experiencing, there are thousands of other cancer patients every year who succumb to the disease because science has no answer… Medical science is good, and I am thankful for it, but it cannot be our source of hope because it often has no answers.
Several years ago I read a book by Jerome Groopman called The Anatomy of Hope (Random House, 2005). I write more about Groopman’s book in Hope That Lives, A Bible Study for Cancer Patients. But in a nutshell I’ll tell you here he is an oncologist who after 30 years in practice concluded that his patients who had hope did measurably better than those who did not have hope. Even when the prognosis was grim, hope gave “a miracle a chance to happen” in Dr. Groopman’s words. By all appearances Dr. Groopman is a man with a secular, humanist viewpoint. He never talked about his faith in God. Yet he saw that hope and faith make a difference in medical outcomes.
As believers in the Lord Jesus, we know we have reason for hope. We can look to any book in the Bible and find multiple reasons to hope in God. Because God gave us the Scriptures in order to reveal Himself to us, everywhere we look in His Word we find evidence of His character – His love, His power, His grace, His sovereignty. It is because of Who He is that we have hope.
I am going to be exploring these thoughts more, so please check back for future posts as I look to the pages of Scripture for revelation of the character of the God of the universe who is our reason for HOPE!