Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: HOPE (joyful, confident expectation in salvation) (03/05/15)
TITLE: Hope = Life
By Diane Keevil
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Many of us have lived on hope. Held our breath and waited for that special boy to ask us to the prom, or waited that nine-month-anticipation for our child to come into this world. That is hope of the brightest kind, the happy hope that reveals God's beautiful plans.
Many of us have lived FOR hope. Will the check come before the electricity is turned off? Will the food hold out long enough for next month's food stamps arrive? This is survival hope...the gritty hope of many who live on the edge of starvation and homelessness. Hope that brings relief and the strength to start again to take on tomorrow. Sometimes this hope is recreated day-in-and-day out for days and even years.
There is a hope, however, that comes from a place where there is no hope. Where dreams are gone, and life must somehow be endured. We've seen it many times, when a family faces that the cancer is terminal, when doctors can do no more, when a young life is irretrievably gone.
What is left is a hope beyond our understanding. Have you ever heard someone say "I don't know how I could have gone through this without God" ? It's that kind of hope. The arm of God that comes around you, bolstering your flagging steps, encouraging each breath you breathe, taking your hand and helping you get out of bed each morning. It's hope that you can endure until tomorrow; it's hope that you can find meaning in the life you now must lead; it's hope that with each day's living...you will somehow find a reason to go on.
God gives life in this terrible hope. He takes your weakness and makes it a testament of his mighty love. He surrounds you with his love, and the love of others as a balm for your wounded heart. He breathes for you, and into you the very nature of his Spirit, full of understanding, shared grief and comfort. He inhabits your heart...sending you encouragement and love and strength. It can be said--he hopes for you, until you are ready to hope again.
Without hope, we will not survive. Our hearts depend upon hope to live each day - just try to live one day without it! And God, in his infinite mercy and compassion, is the source of each hope.
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