I throw that word, “hope” around a lot. “I hope I get the job”…”I hope I lose a pound or two this week”… Shaun has heard me say many times over the past couple of weeks, “I’m so afraid to get my hopes up.”
But what does “hope” really mean and what is it supposed to look like?
I’ve said over and over walking through the loss of our baby boy that, as horrific as it has been, I have gained an eternal perspective on life. Life on this earth is not as good as it gets! This life will end, and the reality is, we will spend all of eternity either rejoicing in the presence of God or forever separated from Him in absolute devastation. I know where I’m headed after this life is over. There will be no tears, no pain, no guilt…just utter freedom and joy! I will be with God, and my family will one day be complete! That’s hope!
But, how do I live out that hope the rest of my days here on earth? Well, Catherine Marshall, a great Christian author, talked about the difference between resignation and acceptance. Resignation gives up and settles down. Acceptance opens it’s hand up to what a loving Father sends. “Acceptance never slams the door on hope.” I have learned in a brutal way that life is God’s to give and God’s to take away. So is my health, our finances, our jobs, etc. So, if I acknowledge that I am in no way entitled to those things, I can accept what God gives, both good and bad, and be thankful. I guess, in a way, understanding God’s Sovereignty and grace gives me hope. I know He’s got it all under control, even when terrible things happen. His ways are better than mine. God’s eyes can see further than my own. I can trust Him with my life.
I can thank God in advance for what He has in store for us while we’re still here. Jeremiah 29:11, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” And Psalm 34:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” I believe with all my heart that God has awesome plans for us. They may not look exactly like I picture them in my mind, but that’s only because His methods and His timing are even better. I can have expectant hope for tomorrow because of the unimaginable gifts God has for us.
Hope. Not only for a couple pounds shed or employment, but for blessings beyond what I can comprehend, for deliverance and healing and peace. And for the joy of heaven someday! Irrepressible, unrestrained, anchored hope.
"Strive to be one of the few who walk this earth
with the ever present realization
- every morning, noon, and night -
that the unknown that people call heaven
is directly behind those things that are visible."