Genesis 8: A Reason to Hope

Many people are currently in the midst of a storm. The uncertainties of life are compounded by the existing problems faced worldwide. As the storms rage and the waves crash around you it is only natural to feel afraid. You fear for your safety, your security, and what the future may hold. As you pray with no apparent response, it may begin to feel like God isn’t listening or doesn’t care. God has the power to quiet the storm, but saving us from the storm isn’t always how he accomplishes his plan. The one thing we can count on is that God will never abandon us in the storm, he will stay will us to the end giving us the strength to endure.

Noah and his family were tossed on the waves of a catastrophic storm that lasted 40 days. But that was only the beginning of what they would endure. Although the waters from both above and below had been stopped, the earth was now covered in water.

Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky. The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible.

Genesis 8:2-5

The flood began in the second month and the tops of the mountains were not visible until the tenth month. Eight months had elapsed aboard the ark! They must have begun to wonder if they would ever see land again. They still had to care for the animals aboard while they ate their dwindling food supplies. Doubts and worries must have come to mind. How long before we see land again? Will we die out here? What happens when we run out of food? But God had seen them through the storm. He had instructed them how much food to prepare, knowing just how long it would take until they were restored. He had kept the ark from capsizing in the tossing waves. He had provided them with companionship for support and a purpose to combat despair. God never stopped protecting and caring for them, even if they felt like they had been forgotten. All they had to do was listen to God’s instruction and then follow in faith.

By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry.

Genesis 8:13-14

It wasn’t easy, but Noah and his family endured an entire year aboard the ark. This must have felt like a lifetime! Yet, through it all God had kept his promise. He had rescued them from destruction and they would be given a chance to start life anew. This is the first glimpse of God’s forgiveness, the gift he longs to give to us all. God offers us forgiveness not because we deserve it but because he is merciful. He knows we are sinful beings, but he loves us anyway.

 The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.

Genesis 8:21

Although we are imperfect and sinful, God still desires a relationship with us. Our character is determined by the choices we make in the storms. If we continue to trust in him, He will not fail us. We are only truly lost if we lose faith and turn away from God, to perish in our own sin.

When a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it; for the injustice that he has done he shall die.

Ezekiel 18:26

However, if we choose to turn away from our selfish and sinful ways to follow God he forgives abundantly. It doesn’t matter how lost, how broken, or how sinful we have been.

Again, when a wicked person turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he shall save his life. Because he considered and turned away from all the transgressions that he had committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die.

Ezekiel 18:27-28

In other words, will you turn away from sin towards God, or turn away from God towards sin? If we walk in faith like Noah through the hard times God promises to walk with us. His presence provides us with comfort and protection. But if we choose to turn away from him, giving into our fears or desires, we will be destroyed by them. Cling tightly to God during your darkest times and continue to follow his voice. He will give you what you need to endure until his promises are fulfilled. God will never forsake us, and that truth provides us with hope.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Romans 5:3-5

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