Wednesday March 24, 2021
Created by Wray Bryant
Romans 5:3–5 (NIV)
3 And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
Hope is often forged in the crucible of the arts. Through the arts, the pain and suffering of the past lose their power to dominate our future. Through the acts of our creation, the power of hope is unleashed, hope which affirms that the future will be different. Pain, suffering, and evil will be overcome and transformed. Good and Beauty will prevail. Creating art is a prayer. For people of faith, the arts express our hope and conviction of the new things which God will bring about.
The Psalms are full of such stories, as are the hymns which we sing. One of those stories is of Horatio Spafford. He lived in Chicago and lost everything in the Great Chicago Fire. Later, he and his family planned a voyage to England. He was unable to go with his wife and daughters. The ship sank and his daughters died. He booked a voyage to meet his wife. At the place where the ship went down, Spafford stepped out on the deck and wrote a poem to express his grief and his hope. The hope he found led him and his wife to move to Jerusalem where they founded a hospital and built a new life. And now, more than 120 years later that very hospital he and his wife established, and the orphanage his daughter would later establish, still bring hope to untold thousands. And that poem which he wrote? Untold millions have transformed their pain into hope while singing that song, “It is Well With my Soul.”
God of all hopefulness, come to us in our suffering and despair. Inspire our hearts with hope to create out of tragedy a new world. Amen.
Good and gracious God, help us to find hope in this weary season. Amen.