Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Discouraged? Here's Wild Hope for Hard Times

Garden of the Gods Park, Colorado Springs

Where I live in Colorado there’s an extraordinary park with gigantic natural red rocks called Garden of the Gods. Some areas are not open to the public because they need repair. A sign posted there reads, “Area Under Reclamation.” In other words, “Don’t walk here; we’re fixing this section.”  

Just as the land needs ecological restoration, the landscape of your heart may need some spiritual restoration—and often emotional and physical changes as well. The good news is that both landscapes and lives be transformed.  

Restoration is possible, but often we lose sight of how it happens. We lose sight of hope.  
Focused solely on our circumstances our view becomes myopic; we see only part of the picture. For example, if you took a photograph of a desert landscape, all you’d see in the four-by-six inch photo would be your perspective from one viewpoint: some sand, cactus and a bit of tumbleweed blowing in the distance.  

But the picture doesn’t tell the whole story. What you couldn’t see beyond the edges of your snapshot was an oasis just ahead, or the desert’s end.  

There’s more to the landscape, and there’s more to your life. Beyond the snapshot in your mind of how you feel at this moment—beyond your discouragement or desperation—there is hope ahead.  

You can have hope in hard times, and in all times, when you know more fully the One in whom we put our hope. Jesus Christ, our Wild Hope. He is “wild” in the sense that He is passionate and powerful—adoring and authoritative—yet often unpredictable.  

Isaiah 55:8 reminds us, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD.” While His ways are often surprising, He acts out of ultimate love. Hope that is wild is extravagant; it is beyond your wildest dreams.  

Restoring the landscape of your life and getting through tough times comes through prayer. Talking with God, and listening. A simple, but holy, conversation.  

A prayer-filled life is a powerful life. It will help you to stand strong in tough times.
When you pray, your life—and the lives of those around you—will be forever changed. You will be inspired to live with greater peace, restored hope, and more freedom.

You will discover wild hope through your connection with Jesus Christ—a hope so unexpected yet so wonderfully good, that when you begin to grasp it your life just may be transformed into one of startling kindness, lavish love, and limitless possibilities.  

Now that’s the kind of hope I can hold onto. How about you?

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