Articles by Stan Dean

Hope

I do not know why rats are frequently chosen by researchers to be “guinea pigs” in lab tests. But the guinea pigs do not seem to mind and knowing some of the things they put rats through, I really don’t blame them. Anyway, I ran across one of those tests a while back that is worth passing along.


In this experiment the researchers’ objective was to determine the effect hope has on those undergoing hardship. So, they took two groups of rats and placed them in separate tubs of water. They simply left the first group in their tub and watched to see what would happen. About all they saw was that in an hour every one of the rats had drowned.


With the second group of rats there was one thing they did differently. Periodically a researcher would lift one of the rats out of the water for a moment and then put it back. Would you believe that group of rats continued to swim and survived for over 24 hours? Oh, it was not because they were rested, because they were only removed momentarily. What made the difference was- - they were given hope. Apparently they believed that if they could hold out long enough, someone would reach down and rescue them.


I believe there is a good lesson in this that can be learned by you and me. Everyone (no exception) has hardships in life. But there is a difference in how Christians and non-Christians are equipped to deal with them.


Non-Christians do not have hope in a Rescuer (cf. Ephesians 2:12). Hence, they find no reason to persevere and they are often quick to succumb to their difficult circumstances.


On the other hand, Christians are in the “hope group.” They know that difficult times are temporary and put their confidence in the Heavenly Rescuer (cf. Daniel 6:27). Paul wrote, “For we are saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance” (Romans 8:24).


Yes, Christians have hope that is an “anchor of the soul” (Hebrews 6:18, 19). Not only do we have hope for better things in the here and now, but also in the hereafter. We have “hope in eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began” (Titus 1:2).


Do you have this hope?


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