Hope in Times of Despair

RZIM President Michael Ramsden explores an oft-overlooked Biblical festival for wisdom on how to maintain a sense of identity when cut off from our roots.

The sovereignty of God means that there are moral limits to the use of power.

The question is: Who is King? And who will be leading us through this time? … But who do we ultimately look to for our help in a time of distress?

Jesus Christ is the king. He is crowned with glory but before that he was crowned with a crown of thorns, and went to the cross in order to be able to give us hope, even in times of despair and open a way that we can talk to him and bring all of our concern and all of our care to him.

Let us know:

  • What habits or celebrations help you remember that Jesus is King?
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In my home office a sanctuary if I may call it that, every wall is filled with pictures, sketches, artifacts, models of various lighthouses because I love what they represent. Jesus the lighthouse of the world.

It’s old but gold to me so precious
Peace and rest in Christ.

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What a great question this is. It is well established that human beings, for the most part, are creatures of habits. We where created this way. I believe this is the reason why God makes such a point in the Bible on giving us many different ways that we can use to “habitually” communicate with Him.
I place the word “habitually” in quotes because although these are habits, that doesn’t change the fact that they are only means to develop a real relationship with a real person, our living and loving God.

With that being said, there are simple habits such a devotional time, a quite or prayer time, time spend reading and studying the Word of God. There are also more graphical ways such as sharing communion.

Personally, I have always found that reading the Gospels are the best reminder of Jesus’ kingship. Because although he came as a servant, he still was Lord. This reminds me that even in our darkest and weakest times we can rely on Him to give us confort and strength.

The video touched really close to home for me. I am currently located in Bolivia, South America. Due to the Coronavirus crisis we are in full lock-down. This means that we cannot leave our homes for any reason except medical emergencies.
Once a week, based on the last number of your ID, you get to go to the grocery store to replenish your groceries for a week, you can only do this from 7am 'till noon.
The military and police are patrolling the streets and if you are caught outside on the wrong day or hour, you get a substancial fine plus you get arrested for 24 hours.

We live in a large metropolitan area, so many people, including us, live in condo - type apartments. This is convenient for the most part, however when you have to stay lock inside for a month with a 3 and a 1 year old, the shortness of space and lack of fresh air can prove to be a challenge.

Why am I sharing this? Because, I know our situation is not unique, there are millions around the world experimenting a dramatic and suden change in their life style; adding to this the economic and physical uncertainty that is brought by such a worldwide event, it is easy to give up to despair or anxiety.
However, we need to remember, just like Michael says , that we are not determined by any kind of worldly forces (I’m summarizing his long list); instead we can be determined by our relationship with the real, all loving, all powerful and all caring God.

This brings to mind Hebrews chapter 4, where it describes how Jesus is our High priest, and he is a priest that can relate to us at every level and in every situation. What an encouraging thought! To realize that God the Son himself relates to us!

It also brings to mind Psalms 103:13 where it teaches us that God is a compassionate father, this means that He identifies himself with our struggles and that he has love and empathy towards us.

So, talking about “Hope in Times of Despair”, for me, meditating in the word of God, listening to encouraging material such as the video here, and spending time with my fellow believers through the use of technology are the best habits we can have in moments like this; to be reminded of whom our God is and of the great hope we have.

On a side note, it is also a great time to connect with our own households.


Jonathan, I am so encouraged by your resilience and active commitment to know God, stay connected to God’s people, and press forward even in challenging circumstances.

Being a young kid stuck in an apartment with your parents would be very challenging - and I know it is hard for the parents too!

I’m praying for you and the people of Bolivia today.