Week Twenty-Two, Day Five
Hope is the great stabilizer. It steadies us in times of fear and difficulty, not because we know that everything will turn out as we want, but because we know that God is trustworthy. Hope is what helps us stay on course regardless of circumstances. Biblical hope finds its roots in God and in his goodness, mercy, and power. We exercise our hope when we endure patiently. We nurture our hope when we read God's Word. Though we hope for earthly blessings, our greatest hope is aimed at the life to come, when God will not only wipe away our tears but invite us to share his joy forever. When you pray to Miqweh Yisrael, the Hope of Israel, you are praying to the One who saves all those who trust in him.
A blessing on the man who puts his trust in the LORD, with the LORD for his hope. He is like a tree by the waterside that thrusts its roots to the stream; when the heat comes it feels no alarm, its foliage stays green; it has no worries in a year of drought, and never ceases to bear fruit... Hope of Israel, LORD! (Jeremiah 17:7-8, 13 JB)
PROMISES ASSOCIATED WITH GOD'S NAME
A few years ago a friend of mine was diagnosed with late stage colon cancer. There was nothing that could be done for her medically. But Judy was a woman of boundless hope, who was certain God meant to heal her. She prayed and many people prayed for her. She took good care of herself and tried alternative medical approaches, hoping for a cure. She read books that increased her hope and her faith. She had a powerful will to live.
During the course of her ordeal, her faith so buoyed mine that it seemed as though she were the one encouraging me rather than the other way around. About two weeks before she died, I stopped by to see her. Judy came to the door with her mother. I held in my hand a just published copy of a book I had written and dedicated to her. It was a bittersweet moment. I can still see the two of them standing arm in arm on that sunny fall morning, mother and daughter smiling as tears coursed down their cheeks.
I cannot get their faces out of my mind. They captured for me the meaning of hope, because hope isn't false. It doesn't pretend away our sorrow but rises up inside it. It's a brightness that can't be quenched, a gift for this life that's meant to carry us into the next.
Promises in Scripture
But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love. (Psalm 33:18)
But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. (Isaiah 40:31)
I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices.You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. (John 16:20-22)
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence. (Acts 2:26-28; quoted from Psalm 16:9-11)
Continued Prayer and Praise
Hope in God and you will not be put to shame. (Psalm 25:2-5; Jeremiah 14:8)
Wait in hope for the Lord. (Psalm 33:16-22)
Hope in God's name. (Psalm 52:8-9)
Place your hope in God's Word. (Psalm 119:81)
Thank God because his compassions do not fail. (Lamentations 3:21-23)
Remember that hope does not disappoint us. (Romans 5:1-5)
Praise God because nothing can separate us from his love. (Romans 8:28-38)
Hope in Jesus. (1 Timothy 1:1; Titus 2:11-14)
For more from Ann Spangler, visit her blogspot on Christianity.com. Be sure to check out Ann's newest book, Praying the Attributes of God: A Daily Guide to Experiencing His Greatness.