Hope

hope-blog-2

A Promise of Hope

 

Last year, I focused on the word GRACE, and I felt like every moment I made a new discovery. Some moments proved encouraging and others challenging.

Regardless of the lessons I learned, I continually felt reassured and inspired. The process kept me motivated and excited to discover how God would reveal His grace to me each month.

This is year, I will continue to blog about a word that I feel God is leading me to explore. The word that keeps coming to my mind is HOPE.

I think the reason for this choice is simple because I find myself praying for hope.

Even if it sounds sad, it’s true. I need hope just to be able to hope.

In my mind, I know that God controls everything and that my life works according to His plan. But, allowing that reality to penetrate my heart is a battle. Pain stands guard, blocking the way.

What happened?

I watched a mother bury one son, while her other son recovered from a horrific car crash and while she battled breast cancer.

I prayed for a young man, a diabetic since childhood, as he struggled to fight off an infection and maintain honors in college.

There’s more.

Unexpected deaths. Job loss. Relationship struggles. Health crises. Devastating news about my mother. It seemed like every day I received more disheartening news.

So, right now, I’m tired. Maybe weary sums it up better. And I wonder if this feeling will go away. Am I wrong for allowing these thoughts to linger?

I remember Jesus’ words to the disciples in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” He tells them of the difficult things they will endure as his followers. And yet, His words ring true right now, especially for me.

When I think of our family and friends going through their problems. I’m amazed by their dignity, strength, resolve, courage, and trust in God. Sometimes I feel ashamed that I’m inclined to become unsettled in my spirit and gripe about my circumstances.

I want to do better, but it seems like my health challenges (old and new) are coming against me in waves. Most days I wake up feeling overwhelmed, not knowing what to do, and doubting that I will make it through another day.

II Corinthians 12:9-10 is the normal scripture I meditate on when suffering strikes. Relying on God’s strength to perfect my weakness helps me to hold on, but I still need a way to reinforce my hope.

It feels like I’m in the middle of a dark void. I’m confronted with a new health challenge, and I don’t want it. I plead with God, begging for a reprieve. Is there a possibility for hope? A reason for me to put one foot in front of the other and keep going?

I admit, it’s a bleak reality to see my medical team’s stunned looks when I go in for my consultations. We are working together to devise a plan that satisfies them and accommodates me. I want to avoid invasive procedures, harsh medicines, or surgeries. Because of this, tests and appointments define my year, so far.

My greatest desire is a simple moment of relief. A single minute free of suffering. But, it never comes.

I’ve endured a lot, so I’m looking through some of my old journals to help me recall the numerous times God carried me; times when He answered my prayers in ways that seemed miraculous; and situations when I learned to trust Him to remain faithful to me.

I’m so thankful He’s never failed me, even when I doubt, fear, or complain.

Praying for hope is new for me. I truly believe God will never change (Hebrews 13:8). So, if He revealed GRACE to me in such dynamic ways last year, I can be certain that He will restore, renew, and refresh my HOPE.

In spite of the hardships, I’m seeking the Lord to help me keep things in perspective. I want to be able to see my life and these circumstances as an opportunity for His glory to be revealed in my life.

I want to declare enthusiastically, just like the Psalmist, “This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). I want to be able to take each day as it comes and praise God regardless of what that day holds.

But I believe there’s a lot of work for me to do before I can say that I’m content no matter what situation intrudes upon my life (Philippians 4:11). Honestly? I question how my hardships are building Christian character in me.

Then, in my daily devotion time, I read Romans 5:3-5. And there it is before me.

HOPE!

With a promise.

Can I trust in it? Dare to believe it applies to me?

Yes, because it is derived from the love of God.

Feelings of despair plagued me at the beginning of this month, but I have started to sense a change.

It may be small, but it is there. And for once, I consider that this just might be a year filled with HOPE.

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10 thoughts on “Hope

  1. Margie Green

    Oh, Dorothea! Honestly, this post reflects everything that I have been feeling. I know that it would surprise a lot of friends to know that I often feel hopeless. That I often awaken pleading with God to just get me through the day somehow. “You always seem so happy, so upbeat”, they would say. Thank you for being so honest and transparent. Let’s hope for hope. I know God is working in us this very moment. God bless you! I look forward to your journey into hope.

    Reply
    1. dorothealove Post author

      Dear Margie, I will be praying for you and asking God to shower you with His love, strength, mercy, joy and HOPE. It encourages me to know that others are going through the same things. I praise God for linking us and for your kindness. You are much loved, dear sister!

      Reply
  2. Lynn Severance

    Just a sense of a bit of hope – is hope-filled, Dorothea. I think we need to sense those moments that seem small and grab them as we wait for “another moment”. I also loved your reminder of recalling God’s faithfulness to us in the past and how He never changes. Thanks for sharing from your heart. Much Love – Lynn

    Reply
    1. dorothealove Post author

      Lynn, you always know the right words to encourage me! I thank God for your friendship. I’m looking for and savoring each shred of HOPE I can! And…it is making a difference! Thanks for your prayers. Please know that I’m praying for you as well. Love you!

      Reply
  3. Sue T

    My dear sister in Christ From Australia I will pray for you and keep you in prayer. You are valued and appreciated. Shalom I love you xxx Sue TOMEK

    Sent from my iPhone

    Reply
    1. johale9242

      Hi Dorothea,

      It’s been awhile. I was drawn to your post this morning. It seems sometimes like hope alluded me and all I feel is despair. So much of what you’ve written describes my own walk. Our circumstances have a tendency to dictate how we feel. I’ve been fighting back by trying to ignore or override my feelings and focus on Truth. Even when I read of David’s agonizing pain and feelings of abandonment in Psalms I can still find His presence comforting.

      I’ve been reading quite a lot lately. My thirst for understanding is insatiable at times and I search for insight to the purpose of pain, grief and suffering by gleaning from what others have experienced. I’ve also been focusing on the Spiritual Disciplines and my hunger to know Him and His will for my life. Of course that’s quite a tall order. Richard Fosters “Celebration of Discipline”, A.W.Tozer, “The Pursuit of God”, Thomas Kempis, “Imitation of Christ”, Dallas Willard’s, “The Spiritual Disciplines”. Also books by more contemporary authors like Neil Anderson, “Victory Over the Darkness”, Tim LaHaye, “How to Win Over Depression”, Philip Yancey, “Where is God When it Hurts?” and “I Am”, by Michele Cushatt,” A 60 Day Journey to Knowing Who You Are Because of Who He Is”.

      I was thinking about your “word” Hope though and wanted to share with you something I discovered last year that was helpful. I researched the true meaning of the word as it pertains to the Bible. Most people today (myself included till now) believe that “hope” means wishful thinking or deeply desiring something but with no real assurance of receiving anything but, in Scripture, according to the Hebrew and Greek words translated by the word “hope” and according to the biblical usage, 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.”
      This explains why I felt unmoved at times when reading certain scriptures. Not that I didn’t believe, because I relied on my faith to accept truth, but due to my inability to fully comprehend the true meaning of the word I missed out on the full divine benefits it was offering me. Whenever we “Hope” for something using the world’s definition it leaves us feeling a bit empty or somewhat uncertain. We cannot hold on to any form of assurance what we hope for will be fulfilled when we read scripture through the lens of worldly hope.
      But…..when we use the term as it was truly intended it changes everything. To understand that it is defined as a “confident expectation” is wonderful news. We have a “certainty” that what we hope for or put our hope in is assured to have a positive outcome. Try replacing the phrase “confident expectation” for the word hope when reading scripture and see how incredibly uplifting it now sounds.

      I found this poem in “Victory Over the Darkness” and thought it quite apropos. It’s written by Eloise Cole who was a Bereavement Specialist for The Compassionate Friends network and several local funeral homes in Arizona. She lost 2 children and after many years of dedicating her life by offering grief counseling to others she passed away in 2005.

      God bless you, Dorothea for your uplifting spirit and dedication to all things “Hopeful”.

      “Lend me your hope for awhile,
      I seem to have mislaid mine.
      Lost and hopeless feelings accompany me daily.
      Pain and confusion are my companions.
      I know not where to turn.
      Looking ahead to the future times
      Does not bring forth images of renewed hope.
      I see mirthless times, pain-filled days, and more tragedy.
      Lend me your hope for awhile,
      I seem to have mislaid mine.
      Hold my hand and hug me,
      Listen to all my ramblings.
      I need to unleash the pain and let it tumble out.
      Recovery seems so far and distant,
      The road to healing, a long and lonely one.
      Stand by me. Offer me your presence,
      Your ears and your love.
      Acknowledge my pain, it is so real and ever present.
      I am overwhelmed with sad and conflicting thoughts.
      Lend me your hope for awhile.
      A time will come when I will heal,
      And I will end my renewed hope to others.”

      Reply
  4. dorothealove Post author

    Hello Jo!!

    How wonderful to hear from you! I pray that you and the family are well. I feel blessed that you took the time to get in touch. I remember your obligations and thank you for making time for me.

    As usual, you have given me wonderful insight, encouragement and new sources to read. I’ve been working my way through “Celebration of Discipline”. I’ll add “Imitation of Christ” and “I AM” to my list of books to read. I’ve read the others and will definitely go through them again.

    I love when you write and wish you had a blog or website or wrote more often. Your wisdom and passion come through every sentence. May God richly bless you for all that you do.

    You remain in my thoughts and prayers!
    Dorothea

    Reply

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