Originally published Monday, 15 August 2016.
I recently returned home from a trip to New York where I was challenged to ask the question, "How do you cling to hope?"
I had just read Romans 8 about "hope that is seen is no hope at all." The next day, we changed hotels from Brooklyn to Manhattan and I noticed it. Here was this giant HOPE sign sitting pretty across the street from our hotel in Times Square.
I believe God has a sense of humor, and that He uses all things to center our attention back on Him. I have been so busy lately that I completely forgot how much I needed to have hope in my life. Not just for the things I can physically see God changing and answering, but the things I have not seen answered yet.
Everything coordinating up to our move from San Diego to Austin to Houston was about hope. Hope for a new church community. Hope for a change of pace and cheaper living. Then, once we moved, I didn't think we needed hope anymore. Or so I thought.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently (Romans 8:22-25, NIV).
Who hopes for what they already have?
No, seriously. It sounds like a simple question, but now that a lot (and I mean a lot) of my prayer requests have been answered, I am again challenged of these 2 reasons to cling to hope.
- Hope for what is not yet seen.
- Hope for the future.
I believe God is a God of miracles, and that He loves surprising His children with good things.
If you would have told me years ago that I would be living in Texas, in the same place I thought I had failed at serving God over a decade ago--I would have laughed. If you would have told me years ago that I would be a published author helping other first-time authors--I would have laughed.
May we choose not to be like Sarah, but instead step out of our tents of comfort into God's glorious Presence.
Let's bask in His glory even if we don't understand how God can do the impossible.
Because we don't have to.
Because God will do this for us.
Because all we need is to hold on to hope!
I am sure a lot of you can relate. When we go through periods in our life where Jesus answers our prayers, we may be tempted to think we don't need to hold on to hope.
But we do.
You never know what's coming around the corner, or when you may need hope the most. Hope isn't just for our darkest times. It's to bring our faith into alignment with Jesus Christ. To believe in who He says He is, and that He can do what He says He'll do.
I believe we are most in danger of losing our hope when we don't think we need hope at all.
During the past few months, I have been earnestly praying for purpose. Praying for what's next. Maybe instead of praying to have all the answers--I can center my hope back on God and let Him take care of all the details.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.
Question: How do you hold on to hope?