As I was reading the story of Noah and the Ark to my children yesterday, something really amazing stood out to me. After being on the Ark for about eleven months, Noah sent out a raven and a dove to see if they could find dry land. The raven was apparently able to feed on the carrion floating on the water and to find some place to rest, presumably in the mountains or on the top of the Ark, so he never returned, but, because there was no nesting places and no vegetation for food, the dove came back. I can imagine that Noah and his family were growing weary of being cooped up with all of those animals. The Ark had already come to rest on Mt Ararat and they were just sitting there waiting. They longed for dry land. They may have even been discouraged and questioning what exactly God was doing. On the 271st day Noah sent out the dove again, and it came back with the olive leaf. They must have been really excited when that happened. Seven days later he sent out the dove yet again, and it did not come back. They still had to wait even longer until the land dried up, but now they had hope that it would.
This story reminded me of John chapter fourteen when Jesus Christ promises to send His disciples a comforter. In the Scripture, the dove represents the Holy Spirit. When Jesus told His disciples that He was going away, His disciples were very sad and distraught. They did not know what to do or where to turn. He tells them, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:1-3). And then in verse sixteen and following, He says to them, "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you" (John 14:16-18). This is when they received HOPE. They knew He would keep His word and they could trust Him. Just as Noah and his family received hope that things would work out, the Disciples also received hope that all would work out.
The Holy Spirit is there to give us hope as well. Through Him, we have hope of being sanctified in this life. He gives us love, joy, peace, long suffering, goodness, gentleness, faith, meekness, and temperance, and so much more. Through Him, we also receive help to dwell together in unity (Ephesians 4:3). We have through Him the hope for the "Day of Redemption" (Ephesians 4:30) when we will see the "Day of Promise" (Ephesians 1:13-14) for which we are sealed by Him. There is so much He will do for us if we yield ourselves to Him. Today, thank God for His Spirit. Thank Him for giving us a glorious hope. May God richly bless you today.