I firmly believe that God uses themes in my life to teach me deep and meaningful truths about Himself. Over the past few years God has been gently trying to get me to look at one that frankly scared me. Hope is a word is thrown around so nonchalantly all the time, but I never really stopped to think about the depth of the word. I knew that I had a love/hate relationship with this elusive hope.
I grew up knowing that my hope was in Jesus and that I would eventually go to heaven someday to be with Him, but hope is so much deeper than that. Hope is not just a future thing, or something final. It is something that drives the depths of my heart to long for something greater than I am experiencing at the time. Hope is all about faith that there is something better for me now and in the future. It’s a walk of faithful expectancy, joy, and faith. If I am completely honest, hope scared me because there is so much risk involved in hope. What if I allow myself to hope for something and I am disappointed? What if I realize when I get what I wanted that it’s not fulfilling or satisfying and I want something else? What if God begins to see how fickle I am and He decides not to answer my prayers anymore? And the list goes on…
What I failed to realize is that my concept of hope was rather narrow. My hope was in things and in the desires themselves. My hope was not founded on anything solid and this is where the danger lies. Jesus gently moved into those wounded places in my heart the battled between wanting to hope and the paralyzing fear of letting myself hope. He used Scripture and gentle, loving friends to speak truth into those places of fear. It came to a point where I had to repent of that fear and realize the magnitude of the LOVE that Christ has for me. He was not going to allow me to stay blinded, believing that anything less than Him is going to satisfy my deepest longings. Not that I have a full understanding of what hope is, or plan to anytime soon, but it’s like I just had cataracts removed and I can see more clearly. I can truly and fully hope and desire things as long as my ultimate hope is in Christ. He fulfills every longing I have and He knows my heart far better than I do. H efully knows me, fully accepts me, fully loves me. This is a true act of grace.
The Truth is:
- Christ can do exceedingly, abundantly more than I can even ask or imagine (and I have a pretty big imagination)
- When I ask for things God is not a Father who gives gifts that harm. Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father.
- My soul was bought by the precious, powerful blood of Jesus Christ and I am sealed by the Holy Spirit. What should I fear?
- Stifling desires that Christ gives me can cause resentment to build. Present all the things I want to Christ with thankfulness, confident that He will guard my heart and mind when I trust Him with my desires.
- When I truly delight myself in God He will either change my desires or confirm that they are good and right and He’ll give me what is best for me.
- I am never alone in this journey of hope and faith. I am abiding in Christ and He is in me. There is no greater hope in this life.