• Dwight Dunn

Buoyed by Hope

Updated: Apr 24, 2020

From Despair to Hope

April 2, 2020 Proverbs 13:12 aptly states that ‘hope deferred makes the heart sick’. The coronavirus has sickened many hearts as it has deferred many hopes – proms, graduations, weddings and many other life milestones have been delayed or canceled. The virus has not only deferred hope, it has also dashed many of them as people lose jobs, homes, loved ones or their own lives. How can we have hope in a time of worldwide upheaval and loss?

In their book A Speck at Sea, authors John Aldridge and Anthony Sosinski recount how John fell overboard off the coast of Long Island at 3 AM on July 24, 2013 while performing maintenance tasks on deck. The book recounts John’s ingenuity to survive, the dangers he faced in the water, the determination of his crew, the Coast Guard and commercial fishermen searching for him, and how his own boat came within 400 yards of him but failed to see him due to sun-glare. Critical to his survival however, was finding another fisherman’s lobster trap buoys. Clinging to those anchored buoys prevented him from drifting further and their ability to float hoisted him up in order to be seen. Twelve hours after falling overboard, John was rescued.

While Christ is able to remove us from life's storms in an instant, He keeps us in the storms in most cases and supports us through them. A person who rests in Christ is buoyed by hope through life’s storms by being anchored in and upheld by Him. Being anchored in Christ prevents life’s storms from setting a person adrift. Being upheld by Christ prevents life’s storms from overwhelming and drowning a person in sorrow and care.

A person who rests in Christ is buoyed by hope through life’s storms by being anchored in and upheld by Him.

After his resurrection, Jesus met two men walking on a road who did not recognize who He was at first. These men had lost hope after Jesus was crucified and they couldn’t make sense of the reports that He had risen from the dead. As we see how the resurrected Christ raised the hopes of these downcast men, we can buoy our hope on the resurrected Christ during the coronavirus storm. The account is given in Luke 24:13-15 and you can read it here

These travelers are crestfallen; they hoped Jesus would throw off Roman rule and restore the kingdom to Israel but instead He was crucified. Their hopelessness is palpable. A resurrection was far from their thinking. Their experience differs greatly from the way that some people, who wrestle with the Christian belief of Christ’s resurrection, explain what happened following Christ’s crucifixion. Some say that Christ did not actually, physically rise from the dead but that Jesus’ followers so greatly wanted their Master to be alive that they only imagined that He emerged from the grave when in fact He did not. But those claims do not match the expectations or experience of Jesus’ friends. All indications reflect that these men weren’t expecting a resurrection and thus lost all hope. They are: • Leaving Jerusalem because in their minds, Christ isn't there (vs. 13) • Commiserating with each other (vs. 14) • Despairing as they speak of their hope as being in the past (vs. 21) • Disbelieving the eyewitness reports that Christ arose (vs. 24) These men were sinking in unbelief and despair; they needed someone to buoy their faith and hope. Jesus does precisely this by showing them He is alive and like them, the certainty of Christ’s resurrection can anchor and uplift our hope in troublesome times.


These men held popular misconceptions about who Jesus is and what He came to do that persist to today. The men tell Jesus, who they do not yet recognize, that they were discussing recent events “concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people (Luke 24:19, ESV). Like these travelers, many today view Jesus as a good man and a good teacher who taught lessons like the golden rule and who provides a good example for us to follow like loving our neighbor. Jesus asserts that He is more than a teacher or example; Jesus declares that He is the Son of God. Jesus proclaims that He is God clothed in human flesh who came to reveal the Father to us and how we might have a loving relationship with Him. Scripture pronounces that Jesus descended from King David according to human flesh and ‘was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord’ (Romans 1:4 ESV). Believing that Jesus is merely a good teacher or example does not give us hope - it plunges us into despair. If, as this claim supposes, we achieve forgiveness, a loving relationship with God, and power for life by following Jesus’ good example then no one would ever enjoy these blessings because we can’t be as good as Jesus. He’s too good; we can’t match His perfection that God demands of us.

Believing that Jesus is merely a good teacher or example does not give us hope - it plunges us into despair.

However, Christ’s resurrection from the dead assures us that Jesus is who He says He is and He is precisely who we need Him to be. He is a Savior who is fully man who can represent us before God in our nature and fulfill God’s righteousness as our representative. He is also fully God and thus able to represent God to us and perfectly fulfill God’s requirements for us.

He is a Savior who understands our infirmities because He shares in our nature and endured our trials. He is also a Savior who is Almighty God who is without sin and is able to help us in our time of need. Some people may think that God is good but incapable of helping us thus making Him impotent. Others may think that God is all powerful but not kind thus making Him a tyrant. Not so with Christ! Our Savior is empathetic and omnipotent and invites to come to Him in prayer in our weakness that we might receive His grace and mercy in our time of need.


Christ’s resurrection not only gives us hope by confirming that Jesus is who He says He is but the resurrection gives us hope by also confirming that Jesus Christ is the redeemer God sent Him to be. The downcast travelers wrongly understood the redemption Christ provides and therefore became discouraged when He did not meet their erroneous expectations: ‘But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel’ (verse 21). Jesus came to provide a much greater deliverance than a political restoration and God attests to this by raising Jesus from the dead. Jesus says to these grieving men: “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself (Luke 24:25-27, ESV). Jesus shows these men that all of Scripture finds its fulfillment in Him. Likewise, the purpose of the Christian faith is for people to have a loving relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son by the power of God the Holy Spirit. Christ’s death and resurrection shows us how much Christ loves us and how this love anchors and upholds us through life’s sufferings as we rest in Him. Romans 5:3-9 states "Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God." Is the coronavirus storm pressuring you to lose hope? Christ’s resurrection anchors and upholds you in this storm by:

• Confirming to you that Jesus is fully man and fully God and as such, He’s able to save you completely and bring you into a loving relationship with His heavenly Father. Christ’s resurrection gives us a living hope as we trust Him 1 Peter 1:3-6 states: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, If the Lord loves you so much to take care of your greatest need for a Savior, will He not also love you through life’s storms?

• Assuring you He is both empathetic to your needs and powerful to sustain you in trials. Therefore, pray to Him in confidence that you will find grace and mercy in your need.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope (Romans 15:13 ESV).

To read the other blog posts in this series click on the links below:

Sheltering in Peace

Glow-in-the-Dark Joy

Waiting Well

Strength through Weakness

Delays of Love

Hoarding or Loving

Good News

Comment below on how Christ gives you hope in times of trouble

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