The power of hope

Yesterday we began our Advent series on Sunday mornings, exploring the power of hope. Today, one of our members, Lynda, reflects further on the power of hope in her life. Thank you Lynda!

Hope

Hope is such a wonderful word. It evokes in me pictures of light, future, colours, purpose and life.

Everyone needs Hope. From those starting out in life and looking to the future to those struggling day to day to provide for their families and to those given a difficult prognosis, each of us need hope; a hope that life will continue and it will get better or meet or exceed our expectations.

‘Hope deferred makes the Heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life’, comes from proverbs 13.12 This verse refers to things in our heart that we long for. When our longings are delayed, it can really afflict us BUT when our hopes are met, great satisfaction comes; it revives our soul. Throughout many of our life’s adventures, God wants to meet us in the day to day of our hoping.

Today at Church we looked at the prophetess Anna in Luke 2 v 36-38 in the context of Hope. She was an elderly woman who had been widowed for many years and she lived in the temple worshipping God, longing, praying, waiting, and hoping for the Messiah to come. She had patient hope and never gave up. Why did she not give up?  Because she knew from the Word that the Messiah would come.

Anna saw that God had delivered His people out of captivity; she saw His character and actions fulfilled and so she knew the one to rescue Israel would come because He said He would.

Anna spent all of her time in fellowship with Him, getting to know and trusting in Him. From that place of worship and intimacy with God she immediately knew that the baby being presented in the temple was the longed for one, Jesus. At this time of Advent we recognise that Hope has come in the person of Jesus. Our hope exists because of Him: His life, His death, His resurrection, the pouring out of His Spirit and His eventual return and then Eternity with Him. Jesus is our Hope, our love, our Peace if we will allow Him to be.

A year ago my lovely sister died. Two weeks before, her sister in law had also died. Two brothers were left heart broken and two families were fearful, lost, grief stricken and hopeless.

It felt as if the sun had gone away for ever; so many questions, fears, a huge hole where these two special women had been.

I felt that we would never get over this but then something rose up in me that made me cry out for Father to turn this grief into something of beauty for each of us. That hope would be reborn, that each of our families would come to know Jesus. My hope is still for all of these things to happen.

What has happened is a love and closeness between us even more than before. Father will work out this thing of beauty as He strengthens and comforts and rebirths Hope because His hope is not dependant on our circumstances but on Him and all he has done for us on the cross.

He longs to be our saviour, counsellor and King and to pour out His love on everyone without exception.

I believe that God has held us, even those who don’t yet know Him. The pain, loss and grief are still there but there is Hope. I believe one day I will see my sisters in Christ again in heaven. What a wonderful hope; to be with Jesus forever in the most wonderful place. No more sickness or sadness or tears but His face shall be our sunlight. Then we won’t need hope because then we will see Him face to face.

Jesus is my Hope!! I cannot live without Him and as He fills us with His Spirit His hope rises up in us again and again as we reach out in Faith to Him. Knowing that He is good all the time, all the time He is good. Let’s encourage each other to be people of Hope, even when things are hard because we have the source of Hope, Jesus.

I cry out with the psalmist in Psalm 42:66

Why are you downcast?
oh my soul Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God
For I will yet Praise Him
My saviour and My God



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