Voices: Finding hope in the midst of sure defeat

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In 2016, Lucasfilm, in collaboration with Disney, released a film called Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Set in the Star Wars timeline where the Empire had taken over, the movie focused on a group of rebels as they went against all odds to secure plans for the Death Star—the Empire’s massive space structure—that would end the Rebellion as they knew it.

When the dust settled, the rebels did not survive but were able to secure the plans anyway. They knew this mission would be their last, and they strived to make it their most memorable. Even facing impossible odds, impending death and immense pressure, they sacrificed everything in the name of hope.

One of the most poignant quotes of the movie is spoken by its main character Jyn Erso, played by Felicity Jones. Erso gives a rousing speech to the gathered rebels, who are unsure about their next step.

The question is asked: “What chance do we have?”

The answer is given: “The question is, ‘What choice.’ Run, hide, plead for mercy … you give way to an enemy this evil with this much power, and you condemn the galaxy to an eternity of submission.”

Losing hope when defeat seems sure

We condemn ourselves to the evil of the enemy when we lose hope. When we are faced with so much evil in our lives, it’s easy to fall away and lose hope. We begin to say: “I give up. I can’t do this. How can this happen?”

We ask these questions every time a tragedy occurs, whether it’s shootings, bombings, genocide or any number of real and pertinent issues facing our nation and our world. It’s so easy for us to lose hope, not just in ourselves, but in God as well.

Psalm 13 perfectly captures this feeling of hopelessness we sometimes face. David was stuck in the wilderness, unable to feel God. He asked the difficult questions like: “How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?”

For David, his hope began to wane in the face of this trial. But at the end of his psalm, he wrote: “I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord because He has dealt bountifully with me.”

Finding hope in the midst of sure defeat

Psalm 13 illustrates the tenuous relationship we can have with hope and with God. Biblical scholars and preachers have pointed out there is no recorded response from God saying: “I’m here, David. Come to me. Reach out your hand.”

It is not that God didn’t want to save David and restore him. It’s that David needed to understand he must hope in God no matter what.

We may not hear a response right away. We may not hear a response for years on end, but God always shows up. He’s always there and always gives us hope.

Many of us find ourselves in David’s shoes sometimes. We often find ourselves wondering: “Where is my hope? Where is my joy?”

I want to encourage someone today that your hope and your trust comes from the Lord.

‘My hope is found in nothing less … ’

One of my favorite songs is “Look Up,” a gospel song by Tye Tribbett. The chorus says:

God will come through, but now you gotta (look up)
I know it’s been rough, but hey you gotta (look up)
Tears in your eyes, just look to the sky
And you’ll find out that he was there all the time
It’s all up to you, look to the father
And don’t miss your chance and look to the hills
And you’ll find out Jesus is real

Whenever something wrong happens in our lives, we must look up. Whenever something bad happens in this world, we must always look up. Whenever we face unspeakable evil at the hands of the enemy, we must not be afraid to look up. Whenever we have doubts or questions or are angry at God, we must look up. Whenever we lose hope, we must look up.

When the question is asked, “What chance do we have?”, the answer is, “We have the greatest chance of all because God is our hope and our refuge.”

Aaron Cobbs is a marketing consultant for Texas Baptists and is a member of Concord Church in Dallas.

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