Anticipatory Hope!

Happy, happy, happy!  That phrase has been emblazoned on a flag
that is raised over our land.  Happy and
Hope begin with the same letter and are entwined in a bow that decorates
life.  Playing hide and go seek was
accompanied by that intense expectation of will I or won’t I be found when I
was young.  Birthdays and Christmas are
enjoined by the same tingly expectation, What-will-happen-tingles make me alert
to the day and its surprises.  Later I
experienced the same feeling as a teacher when a ‘snow day’ was announced.  A surprise day to spend at home!
As I journey through this
life, I have a different hope, a lasting hope. 
And I read, “O, Lord, you alone
are my hope.  I’ve trusted you, O Lord,
from childhood.
  Psalm 71:5.  David, the the one who slayed wild animals
and Goliath.  I can see young David, a
shepherd boy, standing with his 5 smooth stones for his sling, trusting
God.  I can see the stone fly through the
air and find its mark.  And as I read
Psalm after Psalm, I know that David knew God with his heart and being.  David knew God as His Lord, as the creator of
the universe, his Protector when David fled from King Saul’s men.
And I wonder…as I read the
book of his writing…did he feel the hope that God gives?  Did David know that hope when he played his
harp?  How did he grow to be such a man
of God?  It wasn’t over-night, it was one
praise at a time for this God who led David. 
It was searching the stars at night while watching over the sheep.
When David erred, he was
caught in a trap of sin.  He was not
perfect and yet he knew how to repent and seek that glorious feeling of walking
with God again. –
Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven,
whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has
cleared of guilt,
whose lives are lived
in complete honesty!
When I refused to
confess my sin,
 my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Psalm 32:1-3
Yes, David knew, just as we learn in this life.  Sin creeps in and our life is wasted unless
we confess our sin and pray for forgiveness. 
Without forgiveness, there is no hope for a life of joy, for the
expectation of hope that wakes up our souls every morning.
In reading an e-book, Happy Every Day by Bryan Hutchinson, I read how to be happy every
day.  Wake up in the morning with
verbalizing the expectation that something good is going to happen today!  At the end of the day, the instructions were
to journal the good thing(s) happening that day.  I read every chapter – all great ideas.  But for me, the portion left out was that God
is good and in control.  Without Him,
nothing good — of eternal import — will happen. 
Yes, it is a matter of
choosing what you will be.  Choose to be
a victim and you will be. Everything you touch will crumble. Choose to be sad
and you will be.  Tears will flow night
and day.  Choose to be critical and you
will be. You may have all the answers but being critical does not give you
peace. Choose to be happy and you will be. 
People will cluster around you, because others can flourish in a relaxed
cheerful atmosphere of encouragement.  Choose
to have hope – know who the Author of Hope is and you will live with
anticipation that lasts a lifetime and beyond.
There are no words to
explain the sum and total of the expectation of hope I see in the flowers of
the spring.  The expectation of new life
in the trees as they clothe themselves in hues of green.  The faithfulness that is evident in every sunset
and the sunrise the next morning.  The
power that exists in every wave of the ocean as it carries the fish of the
sea.  The golden hues of harvest and the
glorious riot of color of the trees in fall. 
The shimmer of the moon, silver on the reflection of snow glistens
quietly and serenely.  Yes, this is what
God has created.  My heart is filled with
anticipatory hope of what is beyond this life because of the beauty of his
God created Man in his own
image.  The mystery of that statement in
Genesis keeps man wondering.  At times
man tries to become God and de-throne God. Yet, God awaits our choice to be His.
A portion of the lyrics we
sang last Sunday echoed the wonder of God’s words, Genesis 1:27
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created
 male and female he created them.
“You make beautiful things,
You make beautiful things out of the dust.
You make beautiful things,
You make beautiful things out of us
.”    Michael & Lisa Gungor  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWooIrU5OwI
Anticipatory Hope is ours
no matter what comes before us in this life when we choose Jesus’ Way.  Because He conquered death, we know that we
will not be separated from God even in death because He is life. 
Verses to think about:

Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be
upon us, even as we hope in
you. Psalm 33:22

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I
shall again praise him, my salvation. 
Psalm 42:5

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends
of the earth and of the farthest seas Psalm 65:5

Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we
stand, and we rejoice in hope of
the glory of God. Romans 5:2

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be
constant in prayer. Romans 12:12

May the God of hope fill
you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy
Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but
the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13;13

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and
gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace 2 Thessalonians
in hope of eternal
life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began Titus 1:2

but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make
a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you;
yet do it with gentleness and respect.  I
Peter 3:15

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