The mere word stirs up a warm emotion and thoughts of a bright future. However, for hope to even exist, so must the situations that require it. I don’t feel the lure of hope on a sunny day when the kids are obedient and the house is clean and everyone loves dinner and my to-do list is getting taken care of and a friendly text pops up on my phone.
When my teenager gets in a car accident, when a friend loses their battle against cancer, when the dog pees on the floor, when dinner sets off the smoke alarm, when ordinary life is just making my bone-weary. That is when hope shines. That is when it lifts our chin and points us heavenward to remind us that this world is not our home. Without the messy world I might completely miss my need for hope.
Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.Hebrew 10:35-36 ESV
Even that hope, that confidence, is in itself a reward. So many people go through life hopeless. The very fact that we have hope hints to our faith in God. As I trust and obey and walk in His footsteps, hope secures my path.
He is not afraid of bad news;Psalm 112:7 ESV
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
A reward that we can share with others, shine into their lives. The peace I have passes understanding, not because it necessarily brings more peace to my surroundings, but because it gives me more peace in the midst of my surroundings. Bad news will come. Hard days are inevitable. And, in their midst my heart can stand firm, because my hope is elsewhere.
11 I will make my dwelling among you, and my soul shall not abhor you. 12 And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people.Leviticus 26:11-12 ESV
We have hope because God walks with us. I sometimes catch myself praying for God to be with me or someone else in a particular situation. I have been reminded recently that I don’t really need to pray for what I already have. I might pray for that presence to be felt or to bring some blessing along with it, but God is already with us, always. Sometimes I need that reminder that He is there, and this is a case where the prayer might change the pray-er more than anything else.
39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.Hebrews 10:39
(And, after this verse comes the great Hall of Faith chapter – the list of those that didn’t shrink back). I’m counted among the faithful. Surely not because of any strength of my own. The very fact that I believe and hope is a gift from God not of works. This beautiful truth pushes me to press on. He has strengthened my weak knees, lifted my weary arms, raised my fearful focus to His face, and solidified my steps on the rocky path ahead. Hope in the midst of the hurting world.
Dear Lord, thank you for hope. Thank you even for the reasons to hope that press in on us from every side, for these challenges that make our hope all the more obvious and necessary. Continue to help me live as one with hope, attracting those around me to this flame of faith you have given. Thank you for lifting me up when everything else pulls me down. I love you. In Jesus name, Amen.