Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hope: One of Life's Necessary Ingredients

This Tuesday’s In Other Words is being hosted by Twinkle Mom of Sunflower Faith . This is my first time  participating in "In Other Words"; I hope I'm doing it right :). 

“Hope fills the afflicted soul with such inward joy and consolation, that it can laugh while tears are in the eye,
sigh and sing all in a breath; it is called “The rejoicing of hope” ~William Gurnall

Hope and faith go hand in hand. "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1) According to the 1828 Noah Webster's Dictionary, hope (noun) means
"1. A desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable.
2. Confidence in a future event; the highest degree of well founded expectation of good; as a hope founded on God's gracious promises; a scriptural sense.
3. That which gives hope; he or that which furnishes ground of expectation, or promises desired good. The hope of Israel is the Messiah.
4. An opinion or belief not amounting to certainty, but grounded on substantial evidence."
A great example of how hope and faith work together is found in Genesis 15-21 and mentioned in Romans 4:18-21, "Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, 'So shall your offspring be.' Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead--since he was about a hundred years old--and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised."

Hope gives people the will/motivation/reason to live, to keep on keeping on, to get up after falling down, to face each day's challenges, to keep trying and not giving up, to get through tough times, etc. Hope is crucial in life! Without hope (even though "hope" always exists, they just simply don't see it or they perceive that their circumstances/their future are hopeless), people become depressed and many have committed suicide. Remember...we always have hope in Christ! He is our unchanging Hope. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8) And He never leaves you nor forsakes you. "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek." (Hebrews 6:19-20) Don't forget our ultimate hope, either: that Christ will return and that we will spend our eternal life with Him! "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you." (1 Peter 1:3-4) God's Word/His promises give us hope because they are true and unchanging.

Do you know what usually makes people feel hopeless? Often, it's because they feel nobody loves them or cares about them, including God. That's why it's essential to rely on God's Word, not on our feelings. His love for us never changes. "But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our Help and our Shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name. May Your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in You." (Psalm 33:18-22) Do you want to offer hope to others? Love them with the love of the Lord! "It (love) always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres....And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13:7, 13) Where there is love, hope blossoms. Where there is faith, hope thrives.

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, Whom He has given us." (Romans 5:1-5) Why does hope not disappoint us? Because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit! When we're confident in His unfailing love for us, we have hope. When we love others and are loved by others, we have hope. And when we're filled with hope, it's easier to love others and to have faith. Again, we can see how hope, faith, and love fit together in Colossians 1:3-5, "We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints-- the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in Heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel."

I hope you are encouraged by my post and "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 15:13

Yes, life is like the Emmaus road, and we tread it not alone
For beside us walks the Son of God, to uphold and keep His own.
And our hearts within us thrill with joy at His words of love and grace,
And the glorious hope that when day is done we shall see His blessed face.

~Avis Christiansen

~ If you'd like to know what "In Other Words" is all about, please visit here.


Twinkle Mom @ Sunflower Faith said...

Welcome to,"In Other Words", I'm so so excited that you have join all the really great participants of this!!

Wow..what an encouraging and inspiring post you have shared; You're words,"That's why it's essential to rely on God's Word, not on our feelings. His love for us never changes. ". That is so true.

Emotions are like waves of an ocean...always changing and never the same by the hour, but His word...we are so blessed to have a loving Father who is unchanging and a strong foundation.

God bless you for your beautiful words and just how much a joy again that you have join,"In Other Words".

This is a wonderful way to share ones heart and words with other.

Carol said...

I enjoyed your post, the Bible verses and your suggestion. "Do you want to offer hope to others? Love them with the love of the Lord."

We have hope and we can offer it to others!

Loni said...

Thank you so much for joining in IOW today! So appreciated the Scripture you shared. Blessings, and join again!

CindyW said...

"Do you want to offer hope to others? Love them with the love of the Lord!"
Welcome to In Other Words.

Marydon said...

Lovely share!
In Him ~

Charlotte said...

I'm so thankful for the hope that we have and so thankful to have the faith to believe in that hope. Thank you for sharing this thoughtful post.

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