There is Still Hope

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).

Most of the hymns I have written about have been in my heart for years; some for most of my life. Yet every so often a new song pricks my heart; they too bring me comfort, joy and inspiration to worship Jesus Christ. Some of the songs in my heart have caused me to dwell on God’s mercy and to consider sin and strife in my life; such as I Need Thee Every Hour. A few years ago, maybe five or six years ago, I first heart There is Still Hope. I heard it on Songs of Worship and Praise, a Sunday morning program on commercial radio B-97.5 (Knoxville) as I was driving to church. I was immediately captured by the peaceful, sweet voice on the recording. I later learned that the person singing was Stephanie Seefeldt. I would listen to the radio program every Sunday morning in hopes of hearing There is Still Hope as it had captured a spot in my heart.

Luke 15 tells us a parable of the prodigal son. This son asked for his inheritance and then went in his path and in his weakness to seek fun and fame. At some point with his inheritance wasted he repented in his heart and started on a return to his father hoping to be his servant. At the same time his father never stopped loving the prodigal son nor stopped looking for the son to return. As the son approached the house, the father saw him. The father ran to meet the son and kissed him. The rest is recorded in Luke 15:21-24: And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

The way of the father of the prodigal son is just the way my Lord is. He is not happy when I go in my own weakness, try to make my own path and forgot about Him and His daily mercies. The Lord has promised that he will not forsake His children; not to say that He will not correct us, but He shall always love us. If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; if they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail (Ps 89:30-33). Christ will not reject us once we have become one of His children. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out (John 6:37).

When we have wandered far away from God and are languishing in our own weakness, in sin or sufferings caused by our own heart, He is there ready to help if we but call upon Him. Psalm 86:7 tells us In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me. 1 John 1:9 says If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. These are mighty promises from a God that cannot lie nor fail. Are you struggling in your own weakness, far away from the arms of a loving Heavenly Father? It’s not to late to call upon him. If you are a child of Christ you have eternal life; God has promised that. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life (John 3:36a). While you and I, as believers, have life after death, do we want peace and joy in this life? There’s only one path to keep those and that is walking in the direction He gives and in His strength. Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Prov 3:5-6). I love the promise of Psalm 16:11: Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Psalm 51 is a psalm of David written after he sinned with Bathsheba. Psalm 51 somewhat parallels the parable of the prodigal son in that David realized he had gone in his own way, in his own desire, in his own weakness. As a result, great sins had been committed. David realized what he had done after being confronted by Nathan the prophet. In Psalm 51:1 he wrote Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. In verse 8 David asked God to restore his joy: Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice and again in verse 12: Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. David’s joy was restored when he went back to his Father. So when we are longing for our father, remember: For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Heb 4:15-16). There is still hope!

Stephanie Seefeldt wrote the words and music to There is Still Hope in February 1996 for a youth service at the first church she served after of college. Ms. Seefeldt told me, “We did a youth sunday, and the ‘lead’ was a young man who had been in and out of trouble. He was in that place and age where he was deciding who he was going to be and what he was going to live for. I wrote that into the character, and wrote the song to be sung at the high point of the sketch. And, Isaiah 40.31 was my confirmation verse, so it has special significance for me. That man is in full-time, sold-out Christian ministry now.

Far away from the Lord I had wondered
Thinking I would never need him by my side.
Then suddenly the storms overtook me.
I was left alone with nowhere to hide.
The mistakes that I made were of my choosing.
It was my own steps that wandered far away.
Then I remember this; He is waiting.
All I need to do is turn too him today.

For there is still hope in the Lord,
Even when I stumble and I fall.
There is still hope in the Lord,
The everlasting God, Creator of our souls.
And I will soar as an eagle
As he renews my strength.
There is still hope.

Father, as I look into the heavens
And I see the stars you’ve made and call by name,
I remember you compassion and your mercy.
And I know you are eternally the same.
And I chose the path that only brought you heartache
When I decided I could only count on me;
Until your loving arms reminded me of Heaven
And all that waits for me in Your eternity.

For there is still hope in the Lord,
Even when I stumble and I fall.
There is still hope in the Lord,
The everlasting God, Creator of our souls.
And I will soar as an eagle
As he renews my strength.
There is still hope.
There is still hope.

Lyrics and music of There is Still Hope copyright by Stephanie Seefeldt.

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