God always has the last word, and that word is hope! I do not recall where I first read or heard that affirmation, but for me it has been a comforting assurance during these days of remembrance concerning the horrific outbreak of tornadoes we experienced one year ago.
In an observance of this anniversary, Governor Robert Bentley spoke to an assembly of Alabama citizens on the Capitol steps April 27. His comments were brief but on the mark. He reminded us what that eventful day meant in the lives of people across our beloved state, in terms of loss of lives and property.
Since I have known the governor for 30 years, I could tell his heart was heavy as he described meeting with citizens so adversely affected by the more than 60 tornadoes that hit Alabama a year ago. His somber mood reflected the intensity of this worst weather-related disaster in our state’s history. He spoke like a pastor to hurting people as he delivered his remarks.
Before his speech, I made some general comments to the gathering. Those introductory words included the affirmation I have already mentioned: “God has the last word and the last word is hope.”
For Christians, that is more than a sweet-sounding statement. It reveals the foundation of our lives. Our lives are built upon the hope we have in Christ. The hymn writer Edward Mote captured the essence of this firm belief in these familiar words: “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness…on Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.”
The storms have come in our lives in an unimaginably destructive way. In the future, more storms, literal and figurative, will intrude their mighty presence upon us, but we stand on the solid Rock of Christ! God has the last word, and that word is hope. Jesus Christ is our hope! With hope in Christ, we can cope with the circumstances of life.