Living in Hope
by: Ellene Meece
Crushing tragedies. Struggling relationships. Foreclosure. Unbelievable medical diagnosis. Closed businesses. Loss. Pain. Despair.
Enter God: "I have it all planned out ... plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for" (Jeremiah 29:11 The Message).
Without hope, living on earth would be intolerable. Jesus generously addressed this dilemma when He said, "I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have perfect peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustrations; but be of good cheer - take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted! For I have overcome the world. I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you" (John 16:33 Amplified).
Hope keeps us alive, well and able to occupy until He comes to take us home.
Eugene Peterson wrote an insightful reminder on hope in his book, Run With The Horses,
"Hope acts on the conviction that God will complete the work He has begun even when the appearances, especially when the appearances, oppose it.
"Every person we meet must be drawn into that expectation. Every situation in which we find ourselves must be included in the kingdom that we are convinced God is bringing into being. Hope is buying into what we believe.
"It is, of course, far easier to languish in despair rather than live in hope, for when we live in despair we don't have to do anything or risk anything. If we live in hope, we go against the stream."Living in hope may not be normal but it is necessary to survive. And living in hope is a magnet to those around us who are falling into despair.
When news reports of tragedy come, those living in hope are able to pray for all involved and for the evil perpetrators. When our hearts are broken with failed relationships, living in hope gives us the strength to cry out to God and believe He will right our world. When our finances have evaporated and even the connections to create provision have eluded us, living in hope whispers in our ear to keep going, God will make a way.
When the doctor gives a medical diagnosis that shatters us, living in hope ultimately anchors our soul on our belief of God's provision of wholeness. When the final edict has been spoken and the 'Closed' sign is on the door of our business, living in hope comforts our raw emotions and causes us to look up to the One who never fails.
Whatever the situation, living in hope sparks a new beginning, gives us peace in the midst of the struggle and helps us see the next opportunity, washes fear from our hearts and gives us the knowledge that God has it all planned out and plans to take care of us ... period.
Today, I encourage you to choose to live in hope. And then choose to share that hope with a frightened world.
Ellene Meece lives in Meeker, Colorado and works with her husband in their natural resource company while running her own online store, Grandma's Treasures Online.
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