Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hold on to Hope

Hope is a powerful thing. It strengthens us when we feel weak, it cheers us when we are sad, and it dispels dispair and discouragement. As we place our hope in God--that we can live with Him forever if we follow Him--we find strength to endure great trials and daily challenges.

David said this about hope:

Show me your ways, O LORD,teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.

May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.

Isaiah understood hope. He said, "....but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

So what is hope? It is confident expectation that God lives and loves us, that we are His children, and that we can live with Him forever. It is the belief that God keeps all of His promises, that we will be resurrected, and that we can live forever with Him if we give our hearts to Him. It means that we know that God has immeasurable blessings waiting for those who love and obey Him. Hope gives us peace and comfort, for those who are filled with hope are filled with the Spirit.

Paul says that hope is an "anchor to the soul." He challenges us to "hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."

Hope promises that one day we will see Jesus face to face and that He will hold us in His loving arms. Hope motivates us to prepare for the time when God will return to rule and reign on the earth. Hope is trusting that some day God will wipe away all of our tears.

I have seen hope strengthen people through years of unspeakable suffering and sorrow. I have watched hope carry believers through loss, persecution, difficulty, and grief. I have witnessed hope lift my father through his valiant fight with cancer. I saw hope comfort my mother when she could no longer walk and see. I have seen hope carry parents through the grief of burying a child. I have seen hope in the eyes of the dying, who knew that they were returning to their merciful, all-loving Redeemer.

With Paul, I pray that "the God of hope [will] fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

© Carol Brown

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