Hope has been a concept I’ve clung to for as long as I can remember – it’s what pulled me through the hardest of times. I really felt like this is a post that needed to be shared with the holidays coming up. I know there are a lot of people I am close to (and those that I don’t know at all) that have had a challenging year, and I know the Christmas season may not be filled with as much joy as usual. I don’t know if this will resonate with anyone, but as I write this post, know my heart has been broken with those who feel beaten down this season – I don’t know every situation, but God does and I can’t emphasize enough that He sees you exactly where you are.
I found a definition by World Council of the Churches that defines hope as “the confident expectation of what God has promised and its strength is in His faithfulness.”
Hope is something we always long to have, but at times feel scared to hold onto. We want to know that things will turn out okay, but without losing sight of reality. I’ve always hated the phrase “hope breeds eternal misery,” because it can when we spend our time grasping at the empty promises we create for ourselves – but true hope was not designed by our Father to create despair, misery, or further hopelessness.
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” // Hebrews 10:23
Hope requires a little bit of stubbornness. The enemy will try to convince you you’re in denial, that you’re kidding yourself, that you’re crazy. Sometimes what God has promised feels so out of the ordinary that it’s intimidating, so we fall victim to the lies we’re being told. But the God I know loves to show off making the impossible, possible. Whatever it is you’ve been promised, hold onto it.
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” // Romans 5:5
And even when you know what God has promised you, He also prompts us to have faith – and the process of waiting can feel painful. We wonder how long it’ll be until we see the promises will be fulfilled. We wonder how long until we feel whole again. But God’s timing surpasses all understanding. Whether you’re sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for something to happen or you’re waiting for the day you’ll be freed from the brokenness you feel like you’ve been swallowed by, rest in the fact that the Lord’s timing is perfect, even when it feels overdue.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” // Hebrews 11:1
God builds us in broken moments.
It’s in the moments when we feel so small and so weak that we see just how big and how strong God is. That while He helps you up – even when it hurts, even when you feel like you can’t keep going – you build up perseverance. Through perseverance, character. And then through character, hope – hope of a future, hope of prosperity, hope of healing, hope of resurrection for a battered spirit that’s made you feel left for dead.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” // Romans 15:13
I always find God in the calm after the storm – when I feel broken, I always try and handle it myself; I try to make myself be okay. But in the physical and mental exhaustion of trying to fight my own battles, I find myself pressing into God. When I do my part to seek Him out, He finds me and meets me where I’m at.
I’ve had yelling fits with God. I’ve ugly cried. I’ve questioned. I’ve bargained.
Sometimes we have to be vocal with God to get the thousands of thoughts out of our head. The louder our mind is, the harder it is to hear Him. But in the quiet that follows the chaos, that’s where I hear God the most clearly. When we’re a crumpled mess on the floor is when He has the opportunity to pick us up.
Keep the faith. Moment to moment, day to day, we might not see the progress we’re making, but in the months down the road when we can look back and see what we’ve accomplished, we realize the hopes we held onto to keep us moving weren’t so in vain after all.
Merry Christmas, my loves. Know that my heart goes out to those who are hurting – I pray peace and joy over you all this holiday season!