Sunday, April 7, 2013

Hanging on to Hope

What happens to hope when we let it go?

When I’ve hoped for something and I begin to see tell-tale signs that what I’m hoping for just isn’t going to happen, I admit, I sometimes let go.

Did I not want it badly enough? Or did letting go of hope result in the weakening of my faith to the point that I could no longer call it faith, therefore I stopped believing I’d receive?

Remember, Jesus said, I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” – Mark 11:24 (NKJV)

Perhaps like in so many children’s stories brought to life before our eyes on the big screen, in surround sound and Technicolor, we just need to hang on a minute more.

The magic comes when it looks like the hero can’t hold out any longer, in the breathtaking, intensified moment that occurs just after the hero is emptied of himself, when defeat is upon him, and the sparkle of life in his soul looks like it’s extinguished.

But, as if hope itself has a hold on the hero – the light deep down inside of him that gave him hope in the first place is rekindled; now comes the breakthrough!

Some things we’ve hoped and believed for didn’t happen. Life’s events didn’t have the outcome we anticipated. Could it have gone the way we so wished it would if we’d have hung in there one minute more? We can’t relive it to find out.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)

The things we’re hoping for are made of a substance we can’t tangibly hold in our hands, but a real substance nonetheless, called faith; not mere plastic or cloth or stone or wood – but faith. Is faith an imaginary substance? No, but it’s not something we see with our eyes. There’s plenty we can’t see, and it’s all as real as anything we can.

“By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.” – Hebrews 11:3 (NRSV)

What we see around us didn’t come “from nothingness” – but what it was created from is hidden from our carnal eyes.

So by faith, we can cling to hope.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” – Hebrews 10:23 (NIV)

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