Hope. We use this word so often that I think it has lost some of it’s meaning.
“I hope it doesn’t rain today.”
“I hope ‘such-n-such’ sports team wins their game.”
”I hope I did okay on my test/work project/etc.”
But truly, hope is a much greater concept. When we really look at hope, we realize that often it is all we have… and that is is more than enough… that is, when our hope is found in something bigger than if someone notices our new outfit or we succeed in whatever we do today.
To not have hope is truly a horrible thing… a scary thing… a DANGEROUS thing. BUT to have true hope, is beautiful beyond words.
“God did this so that… we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. …” (Hebrews 6:18-19a)
An anchor. Something stable. Isn’t that what we all really want in life… isn’t that what we all really need. HOPE. And not just some flimsy half-hope as if wishing for something that probably won’t happen. In this crazy, chaotic, painful, confusing world, we need hope that anchors us to the Unchangeable, Immovable, ROCK… Jesus.
“… [Hope] enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf….” (Hebrews 6:19b-20a)
Just as an anchor on a ship holds the boat firm in the wind and the waves, this anchor, hope, settles in to the deep love of Jesus and holds us firm and secure no matter what life brings. What a beautiful picture to know that we can set our hope in Jesus.
I could end here but my heart yearns to go further… what about those who have no hope or have tried to place that anchor in things other than Jesus.
Have you ever known such a person? I have. The darkness in their souls goes so deep. Their pain becomes unbearable and hope is “lost”. Maybe you not only know that person, maybe you ARE that person. And I guess the question begs itself… how is hope restored?
And strangely enough, on this chilly October day, my thoughts shift to a well-known Christmas carol, “O Holy Night”:
Long lay the world In sin and error pining,
‘Til He appear’d And the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope The weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks A new and glorious morn.
Pining. Longing. Yearning. To hunger. To ache.
I believe this really describes that person who has “lost” hope. I believe this really describes each and every one of us at one point in time or another as we are caught in our “sin and error”… we’re left longing for more.
‘TIL HE APPEAR’D!
That’s the key… THAT’S the transition… that’s… the HOPE!
Only when we see Jesus can our soul feel its worth. “I’m worth something.” That’s what the the hopeless soul needs to be reminded of. Suddenly a thrill of hope appears and not just hope… but JOY as well… suddenly breaking through the deep shadows of a soul comes a newness… restoration… LIFE.
Hope is restored when we set our eyes back on Jesus… when we admit that we’re not in control… when we realize our weariness … when we recognize that self-effort just doesn’t cut it.
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives STRENGTH TO THE WEARY and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall;
but those who HOPE in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
~ Isaiah 40:28-31 ~