Most of us think of Hope as a perky blonde bouncing around. We just can’t hang with her. Or if we do, we don’t feel permission to be ourselves in her presence. We can’t say how we really feel about our pain in the presence of Hope. Or can we?
Recently the Father whispered to me as I struggled physically with a simple task, “What if hope isn’t the absence of sorrow, but sorrow sanctified?”
I immediately knew it was true. I thought of 1 Thess. 4:13, “You don’t grieve as the world grieves.” We will grieve, but our grief will be different, set apart. Our grief will be buoyed by hope.
He knows my sorrow when I feel useless because of the pain or just want to crawl out of my own skin to escape it for a moment. Me, the one that tries so hard to give everyone else permission to grieve, have needed to see again and again that I’m grieving. I’m grieving, and there is nothing wrong with that. The loss of months and (previously) years of normalcy to pain. The isolation, misunderstanding, confusion, and the chronic nature of it all. It makes me sad. I know I’ll be healed, because He promised me before I ever winced in pain that I would be radiant with health, but I don’t know when. So I wait. I hope.
Sometimes our enemy whispers, “I’m hopeless,” when I’m sad. He likes to use first person, so I’ll think His words are my own and believe him. However, I have drawn a line in the sand. If my pain has made me a prisoner, then I am a prisoner of hope; and I’m coming out this with more than I went into it (Zech. 9:12). Not by my strength, but because He promised, and He always keeps His word.
Jesus is my hope, and He anchors my soul. My soul needs an anchor, a steady gaze that sees me right here in the mess and is confident that it will be alright. He knows the end of story, and if He is not anxious, I don’t need to be either.
There’s one more thing to remember while we wait. Hope is the seed of heaven, but it’s only needed here on earth, because in heaven every longing will be fulfilled, every wrong made right. Down here we need hope. “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD”(Ps. 27:13-14). The Author of hope lives in us. He never leaves.
Here are some of my favorite verses about hope. What has the Lord shown you about hope? Leave your comments below.
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13
“so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil,”
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
“For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.”
Romans 8:24-25 “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
“Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.”
Zechariah 9:12 NIV
“There I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor [troubling] to be for her a door of hope and expectation. And she shall sing there and respond as in the days of her youth and as at the time when she came up out of the land of Egypt. [Exod. 15:2; Josh. 7:24-26.]”
Hosea 2:15 AMP