Christians Endure and Survive Because of Hope

One summer day my family was lazily floating in individual inner tubes down the Clearwater River. It was the perfect day and the perfect time, and the slow moving river would offer a little excitement every once in a while with a tiny rapid or two. We’d hit those rapids with excitement, shoot down the river for a couple hundred yards, and then settle back down to the gentle flow of normalcy.

The perfect day was suddenly interrupted by horrible screams of animals piercing our peace from somewhere upriver. We all turned our inner tubes as quickly as we could, and scanned the river for signs of the terrible noises that were screaming behind us.

Black clumps of hair, seven of them, were struggling to stay afloat. Kittens, an apparent burden to their owner, had been tossed out the car window into the river. We watched in horror as one, and then another, gave up their struggles of survival, and sank below the surface of the water.

They were so far from us, that we could not get to them in time to rescue. I remember shouting as loud as I could to my son to follow me upstream, as we tried to figure out how to help drowning animals out of our reach.

It was that shout that drew the attention of one of the kittens that was farthest from our grasp. That kitten focused on us, and suddenly changed direction in the river, and started paddling toward us. He had over a half mile to swim, and his brothers and sisters were going under and drowning in front of him.

We knew the chances of the kitten reaching us seemed hopeless, but we watched the last kitten swim with the determination of one with HOPE.

A mile and forty minutes later, that little kitten made it to our tubes, and we quickly scooped it from the water, held it tight, and let it catch its breath. It survived because he had hope of rescue, from seeing salvation floating far ahead of him. Where his brothers and sisters had given up, he endured, because he knew he could.

Scientists have found the same conditioning in rats. To test their theory that rats can have hope, they put them in a container of water. The rats would struggle to swim, but at some point give up, and begin to drown after a few short minutes. At the moment when drowning was imminent, the Scientist would reach down and pull the rat out of the water.

The next time the rat was tested with the same conditions, he was able to swim for hours, rather than minutes. It was the hope, the knowledge of rescue, which gave him the strength to go on.

Christians endure and survive because of hope. It is hope in our salvation, in our rescue, in our survival, in our eternal life, and in our loving Savior Jesus Christ, that gives us the strength to continue in spite of all odds.

There is no doubt that we go through many trials and tribulations. There is no question that we suffer from persecutions because of our faith. It is well known that the pains and hardships of a Christian who walks faithfully are sometimes overwhelming to those looking from the outside.

But we have HOPE, and it is that HOPE that let’s us survive to live another day. Our enemies from the darkness do not have HOPE.

When attacks are coming your way, remember and endure! It is endurance that comes from Hope, and if you are a Christian, you are able to go that extra mile to survive another day. So have patience, complete the Works He Wills you to do, and have full assurance of hope unto the End!

For God [is] not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Heb 6:10-12 AV)