Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD. (KJV)
“I had nothin’ to live for, and look like nothing's gonna come my way. So I'm just gonna sit on the dock of the bay, watching the tide roll away.” Those of a certain age will recognize the lyrics of Otis Redding’s classic “Dock of the Bay.” If it comes on the radio, most people will turn it up, and everyone around will start singing along. It is a catchy tune.
Yet those are the lyrics of despair. They describe why teenagers and those with good jobs, a marriage, and children, and the elderly at times feel led to commit suicide. Despair is the absolute lack of hope. Everything seems bad at the moment, but what is worse, nothing good is on the horizon.
Christians no less than anyone can be attacked by despair. Satan would love us to believe that our situation is hopeless. Yet God, far from offering a greeting card sentimentality, calls us to strong hope. He tells us to be of good courage, to take heart, to live boldly. He promises to strengthen our hearts, hearts that we all know can be breeding grounds for doubts and fears. All this is for those who will risk defying the world and its depressing, despairing message to put their hope in the Lord, Who defied even death itself and rose victoriously to the life to which He now calls us.
O Lord, my God, I have chosen before to follow You wherever You lead, and I boldly make that choice again today. You are my God, my light and my life. I adore You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. I place my hope in Your unfailing love. Amen.
Copyright © 2011 by Steven R. Perkins