Hope Unending

For some time now, after being in so many communities where I see absolutely no hope and I’ve lived through a lot of situations that seem hopeless, I’ve pondered hope and what it means. I think if I were to think about what hope means to many, it’s just the belief that something will happen. Everybody needs something to hope for, a reason to look forward to tomorrow. A lot of times, we place our hope in things that we know can and will happen. But I’m not talking about the material kind of hope, I’m talking about the hope that we can’t see, the hope that gives every day meaning to live no matter the situation, the hope that brings deep rooted joy into every circumstance.

 My first answer is and will always Jesus. The reason we can live with such a sustained hope is Jesus. He died the most brutal death, was buried and rose again, all so we can have hope that one day we also can live with out Father in heaven.  The Hope that one day there will be no tears, no pain and no suffering, but there will be joy and everlasting praise of the Creator of the moon and the stars is something I look forward to. Many people look at someone like me and ask why I would put my hope in something I can’t see. Often times I don’t formulate the right answer but I usually can always point to why I don’t and will never again put my hope in things of the world.

 I won’t hope in people around me because people are humans and everybody at some point will fail or let you down maybe without even realizing it.

 I won’t hope in a new job because at the end of the day we are all expendable.

 I won’t hope in my comfort, because that is always temporary.

 I won’t hope in a vacation because that is just fleeting happiness for a while.

 I won’t hope in money because that will always run out.

 I won’t hope in alcohol, because eventually I will become sober and the regret of what drinking heavily brings is inevitable.

 I won’t hope in drugs because you will always come down from a high.

 I won’t hope in things of this world, because it will always end. We all eventually die, as much as we don’t want to think about it. So what do I hope in? What do I put my trust in? What do I put my joy in?

 A Savior.

 And not the knight-in-shining-armor type savior – although God can be that too. I put my hope in a God who I can’t put in a box because He created the earth and the skies. He created the moon and the stars. He created the animals and the plants. And then, in His own image He created us. And the purpose of that creation? Is to live for Him until He dwells with us again.

 At this point, someone could ask me what that looks like and I can tell you what that looks like because I’ve lived through this type of Hope, I am living with this Hope, but daily, this Hope is tested because the world around us is ever failing.

 This hope looks like going the extra mile for someone. It means even though we are uncomfortable, to always care about the person and people around us. It means to weep with the hurting. It means to rejoice with the ones who are rejoicing. It means to love, and not just to say we love, but also to really love and be love and show love even at our own expense. The type of sacrifice with our bodies that hurts because we want to show the kind of love Christ gave for us.  It looks like pushing through each day because even if it’s hard, heaven will always be better. Hope in Jesus means that even in our hurt, pain, and sorrow, that we can smile through tears because today is not an end all be all, but another day closer to meeting our Savior.

 I’m not always the best at having this deep kind of hope. I fail everyday. I fail people around me and myself often, but I don’t have to look at it as failures, but I can look at it as places of weakness that God works in. His power is made perfect in our weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9. It says in His word that His grace is sufficient for me, so even if today is hard, I can hope in tomorrow because of God’s grace. Grace is enough. Love is enough. Jesus is enough.  And that is what I will always choose to Hope in. Everyday, all day, until the end of my days.