If you have seen this animal, please report it to your local zoo authorities. On the other hand, it might be a million-to-one shot. The animal in the picture is a striped meat-eating Tasmanian tiger. Most experts agree the last one died in a zoo in 1936, yet there are still some who hold out hope. Hope what? Hope that there are no more meat-eating tigers on the loose? Hope that there might be a large bounty for its capture. Hope to hang it on a trophy wall? Throughout history, man has imprisoned and killed animals, mostly the human kind. Does it matter to you one way or the other? It should. Why? Because hope is one of the most powerful things “in the Bible” and “out of the Bible”.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer”. Romans 12:12 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace…” Romans 15:13“ To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”. Colossians 1:27
Some people hold out hope for wayward children. For an alcoholic mate, a drug addicted coworker, a parent with Alzheimer’s, a broken marriage, a better job, a positive test result from the doctor. Anything that touches our daily lives is a cause for concern and a window of hope. Hope is a positive expectation for the future. Is there anybody out there who has the future all planned out? Anyone who doesn’t need even the glimmer of hope?
Is hoping that an “extinct” animal may still exist asking for too much? The Tasmanian tiger may still be around. He may be hiding deep in the bush just out of camera range, just out of shooting range. Impossible you say after 80 years of nothing. Really? Are you familiar with the Coelacanth? It’s a large, plump, lobe-finned fish about one and a half meters long. It was thought extinct until one was found off the coast of South Africa in 1938. And another one was spotted in an Indonesian fish market in 1997. They were thought extinct for 65 million years! Anything’s possible. Things have a way of bringing about their antitheses, of surprising us radically!
There are questions we ask ourselves. Am I dying? Am I in decline? Am I broken? Am I unfit? Is my soul lost? Is there still time? Is there any hope? Do people listen to me? Do I have any influence? Almost nothing but hope speaks against such questions. Hope is always the first thing that takes some sort of action. When you feel all hope is gone read Genesis 48:11 “Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too.” God’s plan not only allowed Jacob to regain his son but his grandchildren as well. Circumstances are never so bad that they are beyond God’s help. Job got a new family (Job 42:10-17). Mary regained her brother Lazarus (John 11:1-44). We need never despair; we have a loving God who will bring out good in hopelessness.
The Old Testament character Job summed up his feelings about hope. “Though he (God) slay me, yet will I hope in him?” Job 13:15 Can you lucidly express your feelings about hope? Let’s hear ‘em.