Saturday, November 15, 2008
Dare to Hope
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4
This has been a week of challenges and cheers, trials and triumphs. In the past seven days, I've had reason to celebrate. My Dad had serious heart problems, was hospitalized and had surgery to open up 95% blockage. He is home recovering and we expect him to live many years to come. I am deeply thankful. A dear friend in Denver had her first baby, a girl. She and her husband have been trying to get pregnant for nearly five years. Finally, a baby! I am joyful with Tammy and Paul for the new baby, Ellianna Joy.
On the other hand, a woman I know from back home in Milwaukee lost her husband from a sudden heart attack in the middle of the night. He was only in his early 50s. Ed leaves a wife, two kids and a large extended family. A business associate's son, a 20-year old Nothwestern University student, has been missing for over a week. They found some of his belongings near Lake Michigan, but not him.
How do we cope? In the middle of our circumstances we can thank God for his blessings, and we can cry out for his healing hand to help us and those we love.
We can also have hope.
In Joyce Meyer's "The Allure of Hope," she explains that we need more than perspective, we need a new vision. "Perspective helps us cope, but coping is so much less than what our lives were made for. I can't imaging Jesus looking around at His twelve friends at the Last Supper and saying, 'You can have the peace I leave with you if you work really hard at keeping a good perspective on things.' No. He invites them to see differently, to see beyond. He says, 'My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.' (John 14:27)."
Hope runs to the heavenly Father, and holds on. Hope embraces His close presence and finds comfort in his nearness. Hope means less striving and more trust. Trust in the only One who has the power to make real changes and bring healing and life. Hope builds strength of character and changes us from the inside out.
Are you rejoicing today? Are you hurting today? Either way, take time to listen to God today. In the stillness, you find the "Trust Me" you need to find courage and strength in your time of need...and always.
Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for. Job 6:8
Jackie M. Johnson is an author and freelance writer in Colorado. Her hope-filled and encouraging books include "Power Prayers for Women," "When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton Is Empty" and "Powerful Prayers for Challenging Times." Jackie also writes the Living Single blog on Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk website.