How many of you remember the Disney animated movie, Finding Nemo? It came out in 2003 and became my son’s (then 11 years old) favorite Disney movie for a long time. In the movie, Nemo is a young clownfish preparing for his first day of school when he wanders off and is captured by scuba divers and taken from his home in the sea. In one moment, Nemo’s life totally changes. Eventually, Nemo ends up in a fish tank at a dentist’s office in Sydney, Australia; however, most of the story centers on Nemo’s father and his friends set out to find Nemo. Hence, the title, Finding Nemo.
I can relate to Nemo and his situation. One day, everything in my life was normal, and then, overnight, everything seemed to change. One moment I am happily swimming around in the sea of life (meeting friends, going to restaurants, malls, sporting events), and the next, I’m removed from the sea and placed in a tank with no hope of returning to the sea. And to be honest, after almost two years, I have been tempted to lose hope, which is probably why God gave me the word “hope” to meditate on for the year 2021.
Have you lost hope… lost hope in humanity, in government, in businesses, in religious institutions, or relationships? Are you desperate to find hope? If so, where do you go to find hope? During this covid pandemic, many people have sought hope by escaping. Escaping through social media, gaming, streaming entertainment, online shopping, hobbies, alcohol, and drugs. While many of these listed are not harmful on their own, using them to escape life can be.
Would it surprise you to know that the Bible uses the word “hope” over 150 times and that the source of our hope is always God? Whether it be God’s words found in the Bible or the life of His son Jesus as our Savior, hope always originates with God. In focusing on the word “hope” this year, I have written my own definition:
Hope is a confident expectation based on God’s character and His word
Hope is not wishful thinking but has confidence (peaceful assurance) of the expected future. Why this confidence? Because hope is based solely on God’s character, which is always good and faithful, along with God’s promises and instructions found in the Bible. There will be days when we don’t feel confident when the pressures of this world will weigh us down, when even just getting out of bed is a monumental achievement but let us keep our eyes on the ONE who controls our future.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). As a child of God, you can be assured that God has a plan for your life. Even during a global pandemic, God’s plan for you is good and one that will give you hope. Life will always have dangerous seas, unexpected events, and times of isolation, but God is bigger than any of these things. Spend time with God every day and you will find hope for the future because He alone is the maker and giver of hope.
You may want to check Ron’s podcast, Finding Hope, https://thepromoter.org/podcasts/ His passion for finding hope will encourage and empower you!