Posted by: Jo | December 5, 2014

The Season of Hope

“but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

(Isaiah 40:31)

imageThe beautiful arrival of Advent, the heralding of Christmas approaching, is often described as a waiting time, a time of waiting expectantly, a time of waiting totally bathed in the spirit of hope. The word HOPE, is used in so many different ways it seems to have lost a lot of its deeper meaning in today’s world. We use it casually, “Hope you have a great day!” “Hope to see you soon” “Hope you get that job” etc. The dictionary has this definition;

desire combined with expectation

When we use it tempered with doubt, it loses its strength and becomes a meaningless word. “I hope I will be able to make it.” We can also use it in a derogatory way, “He is a hopeless case” We can also lose our goals and ambitions by “giving up hope”

Scripture uses this powerful word in an entirely different way. Paul describes it as one of the three Heavenly Graces, bestowed upon us by the love of Jesus Christ, a force to keep us close and in touch with him

“And now these three remain; faith, hope and love….” (1 Corinthians 13:13)

One of the greatest examples of the power of hope is found in Lamentations. Jeremiah, the prophet, probably could have been excused for giving up hope as he had struggled against all sorts of attacks and derision and scorn as he tried to bring the Word of God to a nation who was turning away from God, but yet despite all his afflictions, he never gave up hope in a loving God.

“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope; Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:21 – 23)

image Hopelessness, on the other hand, can define us by negative attitudes, anger, bitterness and depression, but we can choose to banish these destructive forces and be filled with hope instead and when we exhibit this in our everyday life others are blessed by our positive attitude.

“May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word” (Psalm 119:74)

We all know how difficult it is to be with someone who is constantly negative about every proposed venture. We have heard it all, “It won’t work, you know” “Why waste your time on that”, but how willingly we welcome those who have the spirit of hope constantly filling them. When this hope is fired by love for the Lord, incredible things happen. How wonderful to feel our inner selves becoming stronger as we realise the Rock of Ages stands behind us. How liberating to soar above our troubles with wings like eagles, trusting the Lord to uphold us. How comforting to know that this hope will never fade or disappear.

Advent is a great time to renew our hope in the goodness and mercy of our loving Saviour, to spread this hope through our actions and our words to all we come across and to boldly claim his promises and if someone asks you why you appear to be so hopeful, this was how the Psalmists replied.

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress; I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 62:5 – 6)

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Responses

  1. As I am sure you know Jo, it is Mary’s 80th birthday next week. She is a woman full of hope if ever there was onE! My Advent hope is that the Christ Child comes to both you and Mary in all His joyfulness again this year

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  2. Thanks, Jo, and Amen!

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  3. Last week I couldn’t get your blog up at all Jo. The same thing happened this morning but I kept hoping and trying and there it was! Thanks Jo and happy hopeful advent. Love, Mary.

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