Strong in Hope

D L Henderson
3 min readDec 6, 2023

Edit of essay from decades ago

December 4, 2023

Psalm 31 is a heartfelt prayer of King David, a man who experienced numerous trials and challenges throughout his life. It’s a powerful reminder that even in the darkest moments of our lives, God remains steadfast and faithful to those who seek Him.

Biblical hope is not a dream. It is not wishful thinking. It does require a personal interaction with the living God of the Bible. This hope is not blind. It is secure in encountering Jesus personally and receiving the gift of faith. Faith is not blind either. In the same way, it is built on real world experience, a conversation, applicable in real life. It is then displayed in real actions — person to person, and God with each person, because God is faithful and true to His word.

In Psalm 31:21–22, David feels trapped. He recalls a time when he was in a city under siege, feeling cut off from God’s sight, engulfed by feelings of despair and isolation. But David didn’t lose sight of God’s character and faithfulness. He cried out to the Lord for mercy, and in response, God heard his plea and extended His hand.

Have you ever felt trapped?

This passage is a reminder that God’s love and mercy are never far away. When we call out to Him in earnest, He hears our cries and responds with compassion.

“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”

Psalm 31:24 NIV

This verse is a rallying cry, an invitation to anchor our souls in the hope that comes from our relationship with God. But there are two things we have to remember about hope in the Lord.

First, again, hope isn’t just optimism. It’s a profound trust in His character and promises. It’s knowing that God is our ever-present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1) and that His love for us is steadfast and unchanging (Psalm 136:26). When we decide to place our hope in God, we tap into a source of strength that transcends our circumstances.

Second, hope in the Lord is not passive, but active. It empowers us to face challenges head-on, knowing that we are not alone in our struggles. Our hope rests on the One who hears our cries and responds with love and mercy.

Yet, hope and faith must have a beginning, a personal discovery, a profound, personal experience of the Living God, beginning with your invitation for Him to live with you, a new friend, a member of His family, in your everyday life.

In times of distress, when we feel like we are cut off from God’s sight, remember the wonders of His love displayed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In Him, you’ll find the ultimate expression of God’s unfailing love for us.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believes on him may not perish, but have life eternal.” — John 3:16 (Darby Translation).

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D L Henderson

Born 1950; HS 1968; Born again 1972; Cornell ILR; Steward, Local President/Business Agent; Husband, father, grandfather; winner/loser/everything in between