“Who against hope believed in hope,
that he might become the father of many nations;
according to that which was spoken,
So shall thy seed be.”
Today I experienced the familiar frustration of misplacing the belt clip for my cell phone. Yes, I know they're pretty uncool but, in keeping with my personality, I use one anyway. And although I’m generally an organized person, I’ve found myself searching for this conspicuous accessory more times than I’d care to admit.
So there I was, searching diligently from room to room with no immediate luck. I had errands to run and was becoming annoyed by the delay, but I wasn't leaving the house without it. As I searched, Luke 15:8 came to my mind:
“Either what woman having ten pieces of silver,
if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle,
and sweep the house,
and seek diligently till she find it?”
When something valuable is lost, and when finding it proves difficult, there are generally two ways in which we can choose to respond: 1) concede that it's probably gone forever, or 2) search harder. In this case, the inconvenience of searching was outweighed by my hope of finding something I valued.
The majority of us have a long list of loved ones in desperate need of Christ - sons, daughters, neighbors, and coworkers who are spiritually lost, "having no hope, and without God in the world" (Eph. 2:12). Perhaps some of them are even backsliders who "were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come" (Heb. 6:4-5). You've witnessed to them faithfully and prayed for them tearfully, but nothing has changed. The "search" thus far has been exhausting and unsuccessful.
This is the point where many people give up. They resign themselves to the sad conclusion that what is lost will never be found, that the prodigal who has "departed into a far country" will never again "come to himself" and return home (Luke 15:13, 17).
But all hope is not lost! After all, we've been given the blessed promise from God that "if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us," and certainly He is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (1 John 5:14; 2 Pet. 3:9). Your prayers are being heard. Your tears are seen by the "Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort," Who offers us the consolation that "they that sow in tears shall reap in joy" (2 Cor. 1:3; Ps. 126:5). Not only is He deeply "touched with the feeling of our infirmities", but He "is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Heb. 4:15; Eph. 3:20).
So keep praying, keep witnessing, and most importantly, keep believing. Live every day walking by faith (2 Cor. 5:7), rejoicing in hope (Rom. 12:12), and resting in Divine love (Zeph. 3:17). The answer may be just around the corner.