Hope Changes Things

I heard myself saying yet again, “I hope all will be well…” What did I really mean?  As I thought about this, I realized I meant, I will be praying for you.
What is hope, really?  Why do we use hope so liberally in our conversations?  Is it wishful thinking, or an expectation?  Is this hope a belief that it will be, and if so, what is this hope based on?
Hope is like happiness.  It is an elusive emotion built on the reality of what is and seeing promise for more.  A hopeful life is one with a future.  When hope is built on wishful thinking, it becomes a temporary illusion. 
Searching all the quotes on hope, I found wishful thinking, not a confident promise.  Then I read this in God’s Word, Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.  I Peter 1:21
Faith, believing, trusting and hope is one package in God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, God’s Son.  Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.  He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation.  Colossians 1:15   When we know Jesus, we know God.  This understanding creates the place from where hope comes for those who love and trust Him. 
A steadfast hope cannot be shaken by world events, cultures or evil. I Corinthians 13:13, Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
Hope is an expectation in Christ, ever new, coloring each day with the assurance that Jesus is and will come again.  Hope is our trustworthy anchor that steadies us and encourages us to never give up.  So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.  Hebrews 6:18-19.
It is our response to this Jesus that changes everything.  Fear, death and distractions threaten us daily.  Hoping on earth for power, job, influence, talents will pass away, often in an instant. 
Sitting in a small room in a clinic, I remember seeing a painting of a pastoral scene on the wall as I waited for the doctor.  When he appeared, he gave me the diagnosis for my husband — dementia, his words echoed in the room. “There is no hope for healing.”  I slowly understood the extent of change with growing awareness of what lay before us.  Our lives changed dramatically as dementia took its toll.  I missed the life that was, but realize my Hope in Jesus remains and grows.  We were not meant to be live in this world forever, but we are here to prepare to be Home with our Lord God, day by day. 
How do I respond to this season of growing and hurt?  I have learned that Hope in Jesus is greater than any other I have longed for or experienced.  No matter how long these days of grieving last, there is one thing I know. I must surrender all to Jesus even as He surrendered all and was crucified, buried and raised again to give me Hope through it all. 
My son confided in me as he sang the hymn and thought about the words, I surrender all, he became uncomfortable.  It should not be I surrender all, but Jesus surrendered all. He rewrote the lyrics:
All for me Jesus surrendered, all for me He freely gave.
I should ever love and trust Him, for my Savior freely gave.
He surrendered all. He surrendered all.
All for me, my blessed Savior, Jesus surrendered all.
Paul Combs
– We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield.  Psalm 33:20
– And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.  Psalm 39:7
– Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. Psalm  62:5-6
– You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope.  Psalm 119:116
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13
– Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. I Corinthians 13:7

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