Monday, February 20, 2012

HOPE




 

“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.”
Emily Dickinson
 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
   where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
   the Maker of heaven and earth.
           Psalm 121:1-2
The other day at a Church I was visiting for the first time, I met a very nice woman who I shared some time with after the service. She shared with me some of her life story, which included some pretty deep valleys; the loss of a job, a teenage son who was in rebellion, a recent divorce, and a diagnoses and recovery from breast cancer. 

I mean what do your say to such things! I did reply with, "life is messy and filled with many pains and sorrows. I noted that, "many Christians think that they are excluded from these things because they are followers of Christ," okay! I get it, probably not the most sensitive thing to say, maybe its a guy thing.

BUT what she said to me really had an impact, I knew that she was speaking from the center of her being, she said that what keeps her pushing forward is "HOPE."

Hope! What a grand and wonderful gift the Father has given to his children.


HOPE is found one-hundred-and-thirty times in the Bible in the King James Version.



HOPE IS NOT a wishy washy maybe or a kind of unsure optimism? The modern idea of hope is “to wish for, to expect, but without certainty of the fulfillment; to desire very much, but with no real assurance of getting your desire.”



SCRIPTURAL HOPE is an indication of certainty. “Hope” in Scripture means “a strong and confident expectation.” Though archaic today in modern terms, hope is akin to trust and a confident expectation.


Listen to what C.S Lewis says about hope, desire and longing:

"Most people, if they had really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world. 

There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never quite keep their promise.

"We do not want to merely "see" beauty--though, God knows, even that is bounty enough.

 We want something else which can hardly be put into words--to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.

"At present we are on the outside... the wrong side of the door. 

We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. 

We cannot mingle with the pleasures we see.

 But all the pages of the New Testament are rustling with the rumor that it will not always be so. 

 Someday, God willing, we shall get "in"... We will put on glory... that greater glory of which Nature is only the first sketch.

"The Christian says, 'Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists.' A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. 

 Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. 

If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.

"If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. 

 Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only... to suggest the real thing. 

If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, echo, or mirage.

"I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to the other country and to help others do the same."

It seemed that  this women was personally acquainted with Lamentations 3:25, "The Lord is good to those whose HOPE is in Him....

Christian, the concept of hope in the Bible falls under the definition of "here and now" and "not yet," God gives us hope now as we walk with Him, but we know that now we see  through a dirty glass, but when we finally open that window all our hopes will come to fruition.



Father, help us to live in the hope of your promises, give us the perseverance to press on for all that You have laid up for us in eternity, amen.



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