Hope - Here Our Purpose Exists; Hearts Open, Patiently Expecting
Hope is a funny thing. When you’re in deficit it is like going to swipe your card at the store and the warning sign, “insufficient funds,” appears in a glaring verbiage shooting fear and panic through your body. When our balance of hope is just enough to live off of we keep it to ourselves, because we are holding our breath in tense anticipation that losing any might send us into a hope debt. But when we are living in abundant excess, we should share our wealthy hope, making it rain on others.
I think about the times in my life when hope was so present I felt like I could reach out and actually touch it, hear it, taste it, smell it and see it. Moments like:
Touching my baby’s sweet cheeks for the first time.
Hearing my girls giggle together.
Tasting the first slice of cake on my wedding day.
Smelling my parents house after I’ve been gone too long.
Seeing the miracle of a loved one walking out of the hospital when that wasn’t guaranteed.
Those are the moments when hope is so fresh that I want to shout it from the mountaintops. It spills from every inch of my heart, leaking out of the corners of my mouth in a joyous worship of holy expectations fulfilled.
When we are off the mountain, in the cave of hopelessness, and hope is a mere flicker of possibility, it leaves us asking where is the cure for this dispair?
Our cure is the source of all hope, Jesus. As the world stood in great expectation for the fulfillment of the prophecy of Christ, people were spiritually exhausted. They were clinging to laws, hoping those would heal the ails of this world. At the exact right moment, Jesus came, restoring the promise God made at the very beginning. Hope would endure forever. The very name of Jesus filled the void brokenness left. “And his name will be the hope of all the world.” Matthew 12:21 This is the hope that is readily available for you and me. A hope born in a manger and sealed by a cross. Hope isn’t a cure for pain, but a heavenly source of strength and joy.
It is then our responsibility during the times we have a bountiful supply of hope to serve it like a thanksgiving feast to others. Romans 12:12 tells us to, “rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.” These things are really important, but when that cave of hopelessness gets darker and darker, those things feel overwhelming hard to do. God doesn’t just give us this burden to bear on our own. The very next verse says, “when God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.” In your season of hopeful prosperity the way you can help those in need is by sharing your hope to others. When your friend is too weak to rejoice, confidently step in and be their joy. When your spouse’s trouble is too near, let them release their chaos to you and be the calm in their life. When your child’s pain has taken away their words, pray over them.
In a hurting world we are the hope. It is here our purpose exists. Because our ultimate hope is eternal, our temporary assignment is sharing it with others by letting them see our hearts open, patiently expecting God to faithfully show up even in the darkness.
“Three things will last forever - faith, hope, and love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13a