Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. – Hebrews, 11:1
I was talking to a couple of friends yesterday via Messenger’s video chat feature, which I love! It allows you to stay in touch immediately across space and time. How awesome is that?! And, in this life we lead, many of our loved ones, friends and family, are so very far from us, too far away. The conversations I’m able to have, the people I’m blessed to talk with and laugh with on that video screen, it’s always such a gift I’m grateful for.
So yesterday’s conversation with two of my “church lady” friends, as my daughter has referred to some of my faith-filled friends for years, I was discussing hope. And what that means for us. We agreed it means that we believe what God has revealed to us; we believe in His promises. God’s promises that are not ‘pie in the sky’ like, ‘life will be a breeze and you’ll always be happy’ if you follow God. But, actually, Jesus assures us that this life will be tough and sometimes really tough. Jesus wants us to take up our cross and follow Him. That is NOT the way of ease and comfort. That’s suffering, abandonment, crushing disappointment in those you love, humiliation. But Jesus also promises He will be with us always! He’s there through it all and, one glorious day, we will be completely united with Him for eternity. The pain and the struggles of life will be behind us. We will know complete joy and love forever.
Authentic hope, supernatural hope, brings joy even in tough times. Hope is bigger than the pain we’re experiencing now. Paul says in Romans, 8:24 “…hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?” Hope is confident faith in our God who has been around us, is in us, and in whatever is to come. His peace and His strength will see us through it all. I am a big fan of the opening quote from the Book of Hebrews that is at the top of this post.
I’ll say it again because it is too important, we have hope because we believe in God’s promises. He is with us, listening to us, speaking to us, and loving us no matter what. He is not the first being or the most impressive being. God is being itself. His existence allows everything else, everyone else, to exist. Contemplate that for a bit and be amazed. And then bow low and worship, or raise your hands in praise, of the God of all for all time.
I have hope because of God. He will stay with me; in fact He often holds me and I don’t have to do anything. In fact, I shouldn’t do anything, but surrender. It’s more than OK if I’m subsumed within the eternal Lord. It is there I know true joy that comes from true hope. And then you will see Jesus where I am standing. His love and His compassion will shine through my thoughts, words, and actions. That’s what hope will get us. I want a hope like that.
Lord, as You send Your grace upon us, I pray that my hands, heart, and soul will be completely open to receive it. I beg that I will never doubt that You are with me and in me. Remind me when I forget. I’m sad to say, there will be days when that truth is forgotten. Forgive me my all too human weakness; let me begin again. Let me always rely on Your power, Your love. In gratitude I will get up and move on. Maybe it’s baby steps sometimes, or I’ll stumble and fall, but let me never doubt Your presence that remains because of Love. Help me to surrender as I know the only obstacles between You and me are there because of me.
I continue my ‘songs that inspire and sustain,’ this one is a great song by Big Daddy Weave. May it help you as much as it always encourages me! “Jesus I Believe,” the foundation of our hope.