One of the most fascinating verses in the entire New Testament is John 5:17, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”
After healing an invalid man by the pool of Bethesda, the Jewish leaders of the day begin to persecute Jesus because of Him healing on the Sabbath. Jesus answers these self-righteous leaders by telling them that not only is He God, but He’s always working.
And if God is still working, you can keep hoping.
If we’re honest, we are all prone to losing hope. Specifically, there are usually two reasons people stop hoping.
1. It’s Hard to Hope.
Hope takes persistence and work, doesn’t it? No one naturally wakes up and says, “I am just so hopeful today!” But what does come naturally to each of us is despair. And when you live in despair you begin to think things like, “This will never change. They’re a lost cause. I’m never going to make it through this. Things will always be this way.” The Bible says that hope deferred makes the heart sick. Hope is so hard because hope takes daily effort.
2. It Hurts to Hope.
Perhaps you’re reading this and you were once hoping for God to do something—maybe in your life or in the life of someone else—and because God has seemed inactive, you’ve hardened your heart and you’ve stopped hoping. Why? Because it hurts to continually wait and pray and end up disappointed by the seeming lack of activity from God. It hurts to hope.
The glory of John 5:17 is that God is always working even if we can’t see that He is. And if God is still working, you can keep hoping. So, take a moment to ask yourself: what have I stopped hoping for that God is inviting me to hope for again?
This article is an excerpt from a sermon I preached at College Park Church. You can view the sermon here: