For in you, O LORD, do I hope: you will hear, O Lord my God.
You have heard, no doubt, of the great Grecian mechanician who once said, "If I had a lever long and strong enough, and a fulcrum on which to rest it, I could move the earth." Such was the philosopher's confidence in the power of the mechanical lever. There is in the world of mind and spirit a corresponding power which we call Hope. What can be stronger than this sacred, invisible influence? See that man yonder, going along with his head bent; when he speaks, there is no music in his voice, and no light in his eye. What is the cause? You reply, "Ah, that man has lost all his hope." Remove this divine influence from us, and existence, to the poor, and sick, and disappointed, would be like an eternal night without a star. Hope is a Divinely-given grace to bear us heavenward, like the wings of a bird. And as a bird puts forth efforts to fly, so we should continually aspire to be better men and women than we are.
I. HOPE INSPIRES US TO ACT AS IF WE IN REALITY COULD SEE AND HEAR GOD SPEAKING TO US. When we read in the Gospel that God forgives sin, hope inspires us to believe that our Father has really forgiven us. The men on yonder ship which has sprung a leak, hoist a flag of distress, and while that steamer passes by they hope her captain will see their message and deliver them from peril and distress. So, with the same feeling, a man when in sorrow, or when he feels that without some great change taking place he will sink utterly in sin — that man goes into his room, shuts the door, kneels down, and lifts his flag of distress to God in the cry, "Lord, save me; I perish!" And as no humane sailor would pass by a ship which carries a flag of distress, neither will God pass by the cry of any man, or woman, or child, who calls upon Him in trouble.
II. GOD HAS GIVEN US THE FACULTY OF HOPE IN ORDER THAT IT MAY PROMPT US TO GREAT ACTIONS. The prodigal of whom we read in the fifteenth chapter of Luke, was a very feeble creature. The parable is not told us to exalt the prodigal, but to show God's love and forgiveness. But hope in his father's love prompted him to arise and go to his father: it lifted him from hell to heaven. So, do not be afraid of the self-denial of becoming a Christian. You will suffer; it is not for me to deceive you. The man who will live a true Christian life does suffer. Ah, but there is a divine sweetness in it, such as never comes from sin. Let hope come into your breast. You can be sober; you can be self-denying; you can be truthful; you can be honest and manly in the highest sense of these words. Let hope in God's Word encourage you to believe that you can do great and good actions.
III. THERE IS HOPE IN DEATH. Have you this hope? If so, and your life is right with God and with man, you will be ready for death.
Parallel VersesKJV: For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.
WEB: For in you, Yahweh, do I hope. You will answer, Lord my God.