HOPE NEVER STOPS
“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.” – Emily Dickinson
This is a beautiful way to say that hope is what keeps us going. Isn’t that what God intended? After Jesus Christ left our earthly realm and was no longer visible to man’s eyes, he told the disciples that were present: Hope. It is the embodiment of faith; trust that our Lord will return. It is trust that our God will abide with us through the Holy Spirit as He promised. It is trust that He will answer our prayers, that He will act on our behalf as a heavenly Father will, that He has our best interest at heart.
We can hope that He will heal us as we endure devastating diseases such as cancer. Trust is why we cling to Him to handle our lives while we are unable.
Anticipating His wise answers gives us hope.
HOPE WHEN FAITH IS WEAK
When our faith falters, when bows and slings assault us and we are weak, when we fall- our hope may leave us.
I fell into depression. I gave into anger, fear, regret, and bitterness.
Then God whispered to me while quietly, patiently waiting for me. I remembered His faithfulness and love. I remembered His promises. The comforter that Jesus promised us, the Holy Spirit was waiting in His abiding place, in the depths of my soul ready to comfort me.
John 14:26“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
That gave me hope.
It was also helpful to me to remember the songs of the Psalms: Psalm 25:1-2 “Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. Oh my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.” Psalm 33: 20-22 “Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.”
In some commentaries, including Ellicot’s words listed in http://www.biblehub.com is defined in this way:
“Approvedness,” the quality of being tried and approved. The result of patient endurance is to test, confirm, and refine the better elements of faith. Out of this, in its turn, grows hope.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NLT)
Hope begins and ends the circle. It is the knowledge of what is in store for him that in the first instance, nerves the Christian to endure; and that endurance, being prolonged, gives him the steady, calm assurance no longer of the novice but of the veteran.” In many situations such as a cancer illness, we endure. If our faith is shaken, and even if it is not; we endure for a little time, waiting for the outcome of tests, medicines and the healing of wounds and waiting for God’s answers to our prayers. Endurance builds hope.
HOPE IS TRIED
In another definition, (Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges) hope is described as testing. When our faith has become shaky at best, and we are in need of those reminders of answers God has brought to us in the past; we may seek proof that He is indeed paying attention. Yet, as in the case with Job, the testing is done by the master- and the student must cling to what he knows is true.
Regardless of the outcome of our crisis, God is with us. We may not be healed in whole or as quickly as we wish; but we may be healed in moments, days, circumstances. We may be healed of bad attitudes and unthankfulness. We may not even win our personal battle. Yet we can have hope that our lives will mean something to someone else. We can hope that someone will find Jesus.
God is with us. He abides. He’s got this.
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12 ESV
April Boyer © Sept. 11, 2015- Aug. 5 , 2016
You may also like:
“What happened to Your Faith in the Storm http://www.restginhisshadow.com/faith-in-storm/
or “Compassion=Compassion” http://www.restginhisshadow.com/compassion/