“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Hebrews 6:19
Welcome to 2017 and our 21 days of fasting and focus on God’s word! The format is not going to change much, but I feel lead to focus these next 21 days on special words from the Bible. We start off with “hope”.
Over the Christmas holidays, I watched a movie I had never seen before that some of you, especially the girls, have probably seen; A Walk to Remember (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0281358/). It’s a chick flick for sure, which is maybe why I hadn’t seen it, but it is a great story with an awesome message. So I encourage you to find a time to watch it.
One of my favorite Christian (though they don’t label themselves as such) groups is Switchfoot. There are several songs by Switchfoot in the movie, but one, in particular, is Only Hope. Here’s a link to it with the lyrics from YouTube:
I love the opening lyrics of this song: There’s a song that’s inside of my soul. It’s the one that I’ve tried to write over and over again. I’m awake in the infinite cold. But you sing to me over and over and over again. Is there a song inside of your soul? I hope so! More importantly, I hope you hear God singing into your soul as well for God is our only hope!
It’s a soulful word. We connect with hope. We hold on to it. We lose it. We find it. Hope is a soulful and very personal word for you and me. We can’t see it, but we can feel it. Our hope is both profound and meaningless. We hope for love, for world peace and the end to poverty, but we also hope it isn’t going to rain today, or that we don’t run out of gas before we make it to a gas station.
“It’s so hard to love,
There’s so much to hate
Hanging on to hope, when there is no hope to speak of.” George Michael, Praying for Time.
“When there is no hope to speak of.” Have you been there? Have you experienced a loss that shattered you to the core that you couldn’t find any hope left to grasp? I wear those scars, the scars of being broken, having my heart split in two. Our minds do an incredible job of erasing the details of those moments, as time heals all wounds. I recently cleaned out a piece of furniture that I was giving away, and there they were; photos. Photos of family members that have left this world. Photos of my ex-wife and a time when we were one family. Smiling faces of little kids who are now grown and living their lives many miles away. Maybe you have experienced a similar loss of a family member, or your parents have divorced. It can be hard to reflect on, but it reminds us that when we have those moments of feeling hopeless, there’s still hope, there’s still a life for us to pursue and experience. Sure, it will be different, but it just may be better.
Hope moves us forward
Hope is forward looking. We don’t hope for things in the past, we hope for things in the future, because the future is uncertain. We have no guarantees for tomorrow, and that uncertainty is out of our control, it is outside our vision, it isn’t tangible, and thus it can cause fear and doubt. We want answers and we want to fill certain about our life’s trajectory. Hope fills the void of uncertainty. The things we know are certain, don’t need hope. I don’t hope the sun will rise in the morning, but I may hope that I will see the sunrise in the morning. Just as I don’t hope that 8:00 am will occur, but I may hope that traffic doesn’t keep me from getting to school by 8:00 am. Hope is the intercessor to the things we desire that we can’t control in life. We hope it all works out! You and I want things in this life to all work out for the best. We desire the best for our families. We want our pursuits and our work to have value. We want financial security and good health. Hope covers all the uncertainties of life so that we can move forward, coping with our fears and doubts.
We’re wired to move forward. We may have our moments where we idle for a time, but in the end, we move forward. We may take steps backward, but we desire to move forward. Foundational to making this life journey is hope.