weekly theme #39 God Our Source Of Hope*
week containing the Sunday between July 24-30
My best hope for the future cannot be any earthly thing, family, government, or especially me. The object of hope must transcend all those things because any of those things can fail, even be the source of my hopelessness. The source of my hope is critical to the longevity and endurance of my hope. My hope persists if my source is personal and has a history of reliability. God certainly meets those two criteria. Jesus is LORD, and the qualities that make him the perfect LORD will never change. He is the only thing eternal, and so are his qualities. Therein is my hope, beyond time or space or any limitation. The conditions in the world seem hopeless because the solutions seem beyond humanity’s capacity to understand, let alone accomplish them. Exactly.
To me, hope sounds a little fragile compared to faith. Faith seems assured and is akin to belief, and hope sounds a bit more wishful and uncertain. I have experienced both hope and faith, and together they can give me an exciting anticipation for the future.
Many things can thwart my hope’s fulfillment, and two of them are totally my fault. First, my hope may be within my grasp, but I don’t want to let go of that to which I am now clinging. Second, I’m not looking for my hope’s fulfillment; I’m just hoping. In addition, even when I am looking, I can be looking in the wrong places for that fulfillment of hope. Hope cannot be passive. Hope without my active cooperation and involvement is really begging. Begging is appropriate at times, but I must not call it hope.
Stories are perhaps the best way to “teach” hope. I can enter a story and find my places, both where I am and where I want to be. Stories confront without being confrontational, call to me without yelling, and instruct without being bossy. As long as there are stories of hope, there will be hope – and more stories!
*A Guide To Prayer by Job and Shawchuck provided the scripture references and readings that inspired these reflections. I found this devotional to be the most heart changing of any I’ve used. It truly lives up to its title.