Saturday, April 30, 2011
Fresh Hope Delivered Daily
I love the word, “hope.” It’s so full of joy—as in longings fulfilled and good things.
But having hope—no matter what your circumstances—takes courage. And it takes faith.
It begins with a single step, from where you are right now to and exciting new path. Whether you begin hesitantly or with a let’s-have-an-adventure excitement, the important thing is that you begin—and keep choosing hope.
Seek the Lord and listen for his guidance. And He will lead you. By taking one step, and then another and another, you leave the old place of brokenness and rubble, fraught with complication and unanswered questions.
Even when the future is unclear and it feels like a primordial haze hangs over your heart, walk on. Because like the early morning low cloudiness in San Francisco, eventually the fog will lift and clarity will come. Your blue sky days of joy will return.
Be assured, though, that walking with hope is not like being in a Disney cartoon where bluebirds carrying colorful ribbons lead the way and happy chipmunks wave as you skip down the lane and daisies bloom instantly at your feet.
Not so much.
As you walk down Hope Road, you may have obstacles or roadblocks ahead. You may not be able to see the way ahead or you may feel lost. But keep on walking, and in time things will begin to change.
True hope believes that God will give good things. “For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” (Psalm 84:11, emphasis mine)
Every morning the sun rises; every day the Lord delivers fresh hope. Despite life’s discouragement and difficulties, you can look back at all God has done in the past in other areas of your life—how He’s kept His promises and has been faithful to keep his word—and you can look forward with hope for good things to come in the future.
Hope is confident expectation that you will receive what you hope for, that a desire will come to pass. Like if you planted dahlia seeds in your garden, you would hope that brightly colored flowers would one spring up. As you covered the seeds with dark brown soil, you’d be confident that, in time, there’d be growth even though you do not yet see results.
Romans 8:24, 25 says, “Hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
You may have just lost your job, or relationship, or spouse. You may only have a few dollars to your name, or have an illness you just can’t seem to beat. Maybe your kids are making unwise choices, or you have a huge decision to make and you don’t know what to do. Whatever you’re going through…
Hope on…and see the goodness of the Lord. It just may surprise you.
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.