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Day 11

Two Things That Bring Hope!

by Mark Hillenga

Read Psalm 62:1–12

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone, my hope comes from him… [Psalm 62:5]

Katuk waited for the gigantic 100′ wall of water to reach his small fishing boat just off the coast of northern Sumatra. Taking a deep breath, he dove in the water as the wave swept overhead. As he swam toward the surface with all his strength, he could feel the current hurling him towards shore. Finally reaching the surface, Katuk grabbed a palm tree branch as the water slowed and then began its retreat back towards the shoreline, bringing with it tons of swirling debris. As he surveyed the scene 80 feet below his perch in the palm tree, Katuk could see the ravaged coastline 1.5 miles away as the second wave began to come on shore.

Nine months later, Katuk and I stood looking at the Indonesian coast which was still stripped clear from the beach to the mountains by the 2004 tsunami. I asked him how he was coping with the loss of his wife and son to the tsunami. “God must have willed it. I must accept it,” he said blankly.

I saw my friend’s grief, and asked myself, “When does hope and trust in the sovereignty and power of God turn into mere resignation and despair?” It seemed to me that he had faith in a god of power, but that faith still led him to a hopelessness that tormented his very soul.

I really thought about this a lot, and was led to the conclusion that for my friend, “God” was really another word for “Fate.” What’s the difference between that and the God of the Bible?

In Psalm 62, verses 11 and 12 point out a very important truth: One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving. God is strong and God is loving. Knowing only a God of strength can lead to the kind of hopelessness I saw in Katuk’s eyes. God’s strength coupled with His amazing love for us is what really leads to a hope that brings soul-rest. He is not just an impersonal force, unmoved by my tears and frustrations. You might say our world today is ravaged by a sin tsunami. God promises to care for us now, and one day to remake the world so there are no more tears. This is Christian hope.

Is there an area of hopelessness in your life right now? Rest in God alone, in the light of His power AND His love for you!

Question to Consider

How could trust in God’s sovereignty turn into a cold fatalism? How does Jesus show me not just God’s power, but also His love?


Thank You, God, that You are powerful and loving.