"A man begins to die when he ceases to expect anything from tomorrow."
The dictionary defines hope - as a verb it means to wish for something with expectation, as - I hope the sun will shine tomorrow; as a noun, it means a desire accompanied by some confident expectation; something that is desired; one that is a source of or reason for hope, as - My hope is that the test results will be positive.
As in the quote above, when a person ceases to have hope, something in their spirit begins to die. Have you ever felt without hope? Have you ever felt that nothing was ever going to change; nothing would ever be any different than it was right now; that there was no way anything would ever be better?
We are 12 days into the new year and I'm guessing those of you who made New Year's resolutions might be starting to lose a little of your resolve right about now and are thinking, what's the use? Nothing's ever going to change.
Or some of us may have come into a new year hoping to wipe the slate clean and look forward to the newness of a new year, only to find that the same old problems followed in right behind us!
Hope is what we need!
Where do we find it?
How do we conjure it up?
Where do we find the courage to hope again when fear tells us our hope will just be dashed again?
"The gospel infuses hope and joy into our current circumstances by acknowledging God's greatness over any crisis we face."
"For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth."
The definition for the word hope in the scripture above is - expectation; that thing that I long for.
GOD, himself, is my hope. HE is the thing I long for. In acknowledging His greatness over EVERYTHING in my life, my spirit is infused with hope!
Hope is found everywhere God is and God is everywhere!
I don't know if any of you are familiar with the Anne of Green Gables books or movies, but there is a line in the movie that Marilla says to Anne when Anne, in the very dramatic way that only Anne can, says she is in the depths of despair and asks Marilla if she has ever experienced despair. Marilla answers, "No, to despair is to turn your back on God."
That statement is so true, because as long as God is, there is always hope. We only lose our hope when we turn our back on Him; when we refuse to acknowledge God in the midst of whatever we are walking in and through.
I've recently experienced the loss of a relative to suicide. My heart has been so broken over the fact that he was not able to see in that one moment of utter hopelessness, that things could and would be better. It is so easy to be deceived when we take our eyes off God and focus only on the circumstance at hand.
There is always hope!
"...for he has said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
And, if our God, who cannot lie, says He will never leave you, nor forsake you, then you are never without hope, because you are never without God.
There are days that look pretty bleak. There are times when it feels that the heavens are shut up and nobody is home. There are times when it feels that your prayers fall right to the ground and you want to pick them right back up and hide them in your pocket because the very act of saying them has made you feel so vulnerable and you can't take one more disappointment.
Don't believe the lie that God is not listening. Don't believe the lie that God is not hearing. Don't you dare believe the lie that God does not care. Turn your heart toward heaven. Open your hands and raise them to the God who does listen, who does hear and who does care and then open your heart to receive the hope he is planting right there as a small seed that He will water. It will grow and you will begin to trust and to expect again from a God who loves you so!
This is my word for 2016 - Hope! I have been in a season where it has been hard to be hopeful, but God is restoring hope to my soul. The flame has been fanned and I feel the fire burning deep within again.
There is hope in God!
"Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs [us; you and me] of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf."
Hope becomes our anchor, securing us firmly to the one who has promised and who has become our hope. Though the winds blow and the waves threaten, we are strong and firm, secure in our stand in Him. It may look like we're going under, but our God is there as He promised He would be.
Hope always in Him!