A Year of Hope – 2016

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Abide. Rest. Comfort.

All beautiful words that have spoken truth to my heart and soul over the last few years. Words that don’t end on December 31st, but which follow me into forever.

Words that linger: speaking, guiding, reminding.

Last year, I felt the failure of the words. The failure of having fully come to understand them. To live up under them. To have mastered them.

This year I realize they are less things to figure out and more like good friends who keep joining my tribe.

Friends who continue to whisper the promise of their goodness. Of their undying love and support.

What a gift to have friends among these. What a hope they offer.

So I suppose it’s no surprise that this year I’m choosing to stew in hope.

I mean, I did name a book, “Reclaiming Hope.” And another “And Then There’s Hope” (coming soon).

The theme isn’t new.

And recently, I spoke at an Orphan Care Summit on the topic of hope… biblical hope versus cultural hope, and why we do hard things if they’re so hard.

Well, it’s because of hope.

Not just any hope. Not the “it would be nice if…,” or “I wish…” kind of hope.

Not the hope that sits around thinking nice thoughts, uncertain if the dreams and wishes will ever be true.

No, I’m talking confident hope. Hope that knows.

I love how John Piper describes it:

“A confident expectation and desire for something good in the future.”

He goes on to say, “Hope is something that should not waver, because it is rooted in the faithfulness of God. There should be moral certainty in it because the will and purpose of God are like iron, not chalk.”

One of my favorite verses on hope, strangely enough, is this one in Romans 4:18:

“Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping–believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!”

Even when there was no reason for hope… Abraham hoped. Even when their wasn’t any room left for cultural hope, he chose biblical hope. Confidant hope. The hope that knows God is able to do what He says He will do. And his hope has certainly not disappointed! (Romans 5:5)

This is the hope I want to sit under this year.

Because 2015 (and 2014) were HARD years.

I was often filled with hopelessness and despair.

The kind of hopeless that just doesn’t see a way out of the dark tunnel. No light at the end. No promise of better.

Only hard.

But I hung on.

And maybe this in itself is a sign of hope. Small hope. Flickering hope. But hope all the same.

Because for some reason, I didn’t let go.

 “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.” Hebrews 10:23

Will you join me this year in clinging to hope? In reclaiming hope in all of the places we’ve lost it? In giving hope a chance again?

This is a terrifying adventure, because disappointment hurts a lot. But our hope is based on the grace of God. And this, my friends, is the safest place to be.

*Join me in a study of hope HERE.

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