Hope

When I started the allweatherGod blog in 2008 I chose the tag line, “Those who believe that happiness comes from sunshine alone have never danced in the rain”.   I felt that the quote illustrated the freedom that we can experience when we reach beyond our circumstances into the unseen realm of hope.

Hope is that wonderfully buoyant expectation that we have in a positive outcome while we are still in a bleak or failing situation.  Hope is designed to provoke and carry us when we face the impossible or unbelievable. But what is the impetus behind being hopeful?

A primary key to hopefulness is having the insight of faith in our lives to direct our intellect.  Faith is a stabilizer and a directional.  Faith points us in a direction, and hope helps us advance.

Consider the application in these scriptures:

Psalm 119:49 ESV Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope.  –  Faith in “God’s word to him” gave him hope.

Lamentations 3:24 ESV The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in him.  –  Faith in “the Lord as his portion” gave him hope.

Hebrews 10:23 ESV Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.  –  Faith in “he who promised” gave him the confidence to continue hoping.

Titus 1:2 ESV In hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began.  –  Faith in “God who promised” gave him hope of eternal life.

Every living person centers his or her expectations on something … or someone. It is my belief, and has been my experience, that God is the only one worthy of this focus.

I remember a time when our family vacationed in Vermont.  We stayed at the Von Trapp Family Lodge, a 2,400-acre mountain resort.

My forestpathdreamstimehusband and I decided to hike down the mountain through one of the many trails on the property.  It lead into the forest laden with paths heading in multiple directions. Our 9-year-old daughter Asheley asked to come along and she skipped just ahead of us.  However, as dusk approached she turned onto a path and disappeared quickly from sight.

The woods were dense and threatening, and our calls to Asheley were countered with a dreadful silence.  We rushed through the woods not knowing which paths she took; my heart pounded and I began to panic. My husband’s attempts to keep calm were also futile. There were dark thoughts in our heads; was she lost, hurt, kidnapped?

As we searched and called for her the Lord brought a powerful scripture to my mind, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”  I had been reading Deuteronomy for several weeks and this scripture surfaced like a lifeline!  We were not without hope. We didn’t know where Asheley was, but the Lord did; he went before us!

We reached the edge of the forest at the top of a huge grass hill.  Asheley was not in sight. Where was she? How did we let this happen? I rehearsed the scripture to stay focused, and we eventually rounded the vista to find Asheley sitting on a fence at the bottom of the hill.  All was right with the world.

As I said before, every living person centers his or her expectations on something … or someone. Our faithful God alone is worthy of this focus. Lord, my hope and expectation are in you (Psalm 39:7).

Psalm 39:7 AMP And now, Lord, what do I wait for and expect? My hope and expectation are in You.

Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV  The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Romans 15:13 NIV May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 10:17 NKJ So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

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