If we are honest, we must confess that if we surrender hope it is not because there is no hope but because we are scared. (I wanted to write “we are cowards,” but I seek to be gentle.) We fear having to take back words of hope we spoke with such zeal yesterday. We fear having to explain how so hopeful a relationship failed. We fear having yet another New Year remind us of what did not materialize in the year past. And so we reason it is better not to hope at all. If we make the choice to give up hope, let us simply admit that we do so out of fear, out of self-preservation, because it is safer than nurturing a hope that may rot before it bears fruit.

I want to be gentle. It is not easy to nurture a failing hope. I understand this. I do. And I realize that a faltering hope grows denser and more cumbersome with each passing year. It lingers in dark corners hoping for a brighter tomorrow. We are hesitant to show it lest someone think us odd. We are hesitant to be thought a fool for daring to hope when all things press us to give up. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.”

The voices whisper, “After so long have you not buried that foolish dream?” “No! I have not! Why have you?”

What I have done is fed my beleaguered hope the Bread of Life and made my wasted hope to drink from Living Water. Though I have walked through the valley of the shadow of death, I was brought to green pastures. I was led beside still waters and made to drink while He stood guard. He has restored my soul and hope has revived! See how it perfumes the very air we breath! See how the paths of righteousness stretch before me—and all for His name’s sake. It is all for His name’s sake. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12).

What the streamers could not convey at the start of the New Year was that the Christian hope is not tied to the economy, not tied to military might, not tied to the twists and turns of sinful people but anchored in “our living hope” Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:3). Winter is still upon us and, in some places, the thaw is nowhere in sight. But we are convinced it is wise to place “our hope in the living God” (1 Timothy 4:10). What He will bring in this year we embrace, whether it is ALL that we want, less than we ask or “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20). My hope in HIM is for the latter.

“If you can find no reason to hope, be still and let hope find you.”

 

Hudson Russell Davis was born on a small Island in the West Indies called Dominica, and this is only one reason he does not like cold weather and loves guava.  He is a graduate of James Madison University with a B.A. in Graphic Design and earned a Masters in Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary.  Currently he is a Ph.D. candidate at Saint Louis University studying historical theology.  Hudson has worked as a graphic artist and worship leader but expresses himself through poetry, prose, photography, and music. His activities are just about anything outdoors, but tennis is his current passion.

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