ReLENTless Pursuit of Hope

March 14, 2016

There are days when hope seems to be in short supply.

This creates a problem because I've realized that I need hope in every area of my life. I need hope when I imagine my future, or my children turning out all right, or my marriage making it to fifty-plus years. All these things require hope. Hope in something and someone greater than myself. Hope that things will turn out in spite of my screw-ups and do overs.

Yesterday we met as a missional community, a group of believers who gather together to share in our journey of the pursuit of God and what it means to live out our faith, and toward the end everyone shared a request that needed prayer. For parents and kids and work. And all I keep thinking is how do we get through this life, these concerns or problems, without hope?

Hope is is much more than good thoughts or conjured-up positive feelings. Hope is the anchor for our soul (Hebrews 6:19) and the buoy for our faith.

This week, let's pursue hope together.

Day 1:

Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption. Psalm 130:7

Time and again we are reminded in scripture that we can hope in the Lord. Why? Because we can trust his love for us that will meet us, no matter where we find ourselves in life.

I had a conversation with my adopted daughter just the other day as she struggled with the idea that she is loved. I reminded her of the truth that she is loved both by God and by us. We talked about how just because we think something doesn't make it truth and just because we feel something doesn't make it true. When we aren't sure of what to believe, we can go to the Bible and find our hope there.

His love is unfailing for us. He offers full redemption to all of us. He will never leave us or forsake us  (Deuteronomy 31:6). This is the hope we can stand firm on.

Do you wonder if God loves you today, friends? Are you sure of the hope you have in him for your care and redemption? Today, take a few minutes to pray and seek God's truth for your life beyond just your own thoughts or feelings. Trust what the Bible says about his love for you.

Day 2:

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God. Psalm 43:5

Oftentimes I can lose hope when I look at all that is happening around the world and even in our own country. I can become discouraged and afraid if I ponder for too long the hatred and anger that seems to swirl around us.

It's during these times that I need to remember that God is ultimately the one in control. My husband Kyle reminded me yesterday as we were talking about the upcoming presidential election that it is just as dangerous to completely fear one candidate as it is to think another could be your savior. We have one God, one savior, and one hope in Jesus.

Do you fear for the future of our country or world? Today, take time to pray for our leaders, both current and future, then leave your worries with the Lord. Remind yourself that our hope lies solely in Christ, our Savior.

Day 3:

"‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4

Just yesterday I saw an old high school friend post on Facebook that her son had been killed that morning in a car accident. I immediately began to pray for her and her family. I wanted to say something in response, but paused, unsure what could be said that would fully convey my sorrow and regret over the loss of her son. I immediately began to think, as we all do, what I would be feeling had it been my child? Sometimes there are no words beyond just, I'm sorry. 

As the day went on I saw so many others rally around this family both online and in person. People were sending prayers and good thoughts, memories and pictures. I saw, even amidst the sorrow, hope begin to rise among people who loved this family, up close and even from a distance. People cared and they were there.

It reminded me of the hope we have in Christ, not only in life, but also in death. Jesus will wipe every tear from our eyes. Old things will pass away. The new has come!

Are you grieving a loss today, friend? My prayer for you is that you would find comfort in the God who promises to wipe every tear from our eyes. Bring all your grief and pain to him today. Don't be afraid to lay out all your troubles, then grab hold of the hope that we have in Christ, for the present and the future.

Thank you Jesus, that you are our hope. 

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