There is a reason why we all enjoy Fridays and dread Mondays. Fridays remind us that rest, recreation, and ease is just around the corner. Our hope in future weekend or vacation activities produces a “present-moment” joy. Come Monday however, the stress of work related responsibilities weigh heavy on our minds - and the joy quickly evaporates! There is a reason why one of our popular restaurant chains is not called, TGIM (Thank God it's Monday) but rather TGIF, Thank God it’s Friday.
The problem with this thinking is that weekends and vacations can be just as disappointing and stressful as Mondays. The car breaks down, the weather turns bad, an unexpected health crisis arises or a close friend or family member turns against you. Friday’s hope can easily turn into Saturday’s disappointment. Enter the gospel! As Christians, our hope (and resulting joy) is not dependent upon the stress-free pleasures of future circumstances but rather the immovable presence of Holy Spirit within our hearts. According to God’s Word, our hope in the future is not based upon favorable circumstances, like the end of a Pandemic, but rather the faithful encouragement of God’s Spirit living within. Paul writes in Romans 15:13,
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit
If we are Christians, Holy Spirit lives within us and it is His goal to produce hope (and joy) within the halls of our heart. If our hope is based upon Holy Spirit’s presence, how then do we become more filled with Him? The answer lies in saturating our minds with God’s Word. Paul makes it clear that hope, something Holy Spirit gives, is always rooted in Scripture.
For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)
The writer of Hebrews is even clearer when he equates Holy Spirit’s activity in our lives through Scripture. For example in Hebrews 3:6,
Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, Today if you hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, As in the day of trial in the wilderness
Note that this quote from Psalm 95 is not by Holy Spirit’s speaking in the past tense (Holy Spirit said) but in the present tense (Holy Spirit says). And how does Holy Spirit speak today? He speaks through God’s Word. To be filled with Holy Spirit is to be filled with God’s Word and to be filled with God’s Word is to be filled with Holy Spirit.
Bottom Line: There can be just as much joy and thankfulness during a Pandemic as there is afterwards. By dwelling upon the truths of God’s Word, we have an unlimited supply, an oceanic reservoir of Spirit inspired hope, regardless of circumstances. A hope that pandemics, earthquakes and economic troubles cannot destroy. My prayer for you is that you drink from this unlimited supply of hope in the coming weeks as never before. My prayer for us is that we will become more like the person from Psalm 1, meditating upon God’s word day and night, so that we might become trees firmly planted by streams of water. With God’s Word sustaining our hope we can not only say, “Thank God it’s Friday”, but also “Thank God it’s Monday”.