Hope-Full - Encouragement Café - January 6, 2017


By Paris Renae

Friday, January, 6, 2017

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”  >Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

By the time you read this I will be cuddling a little boy bundle of joy – my grandson. Something about tiny fingers and perfect lips makes my heart swoon. New life, not yet marred by the harshness of our world.

One thing we can all be certain of in this New Year – change. I think it’s human nature to resist change. We’re so much more comfortable in routine or in familiar ways of doing things. But when we’re comfortable and everything is just like we think it should be, we forget about our Hope.

Last year, I can remember having lots of hopes about how things would go – I knew there were a couple of upcoming trips, my daughter was finishing her degree, my husband was entering his second year in his new business. I had the funny idea that it was going to be one of those memorable years.

My idea of memorable and life’s ideas are a bit different. I got ill three times, very unusual for me. I seriously hurt my back and was out of commission for weeks. Along with many other unplanned ups and downs, it just wasn’t my idea of how things would go.

Looking back, I can see how God used all those times. First he slowed me down, way down. My mother once told me I was like watching a puppy chase his tail – always in motion. It was in the slowness that my quiet time lost its routine. It became deeper, sweeter.

Next, it reminded me that I, like all of us, am not above the calamities of life. Through that reminder, I became much more aware of those around me that were struggling and my compassion increased.

Finally, God began to teach me to trust. I say began, because, oh yes, my heart trusts, but my head runs way ahead. I have to check myself when my thoughts race ahead to all the ‘what ifs’. I am learning to let go of what I think could happen and trust that in whatever happens, He is there.

That is Hope. Hope stops us and redirects us and restores us. Our hope is eternity, knowing that Jesus is the Hope Giver and He will see us right into a glorious forever. We can be certain, even though we can’t see it, can’t exactly explain it, and can’t touch it. It is a promise, and He who promised is oh so faithful.

So in all the ups and downs in the year ahead, maybe we can be Hope-Full – so full of the hope that is ours for always and ever that we overflow to those we love and those we meet. That would be a memorable year wouldn’t it!

Oh Father, we are weak vessels. Thank You that in our weakness You are our strength. Regardless what awaits us later today or six months from now, You are there. An ever present help in joy and in trouble. Redirect our thoughts, Lord, when we tend to worry. Turn our eyes heavenward and remind us of our Hope. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

© 2017 by Paris Renae, All rights reserved.

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Originally published Friday, 06 January 2017.