Even As We Hope in Him
I’ve been thinking about hope since before we started Advent traditions. This first week of advent focuses on hope, we lit the hope candle and talked about the difference between wishes and hopes, but my heart felt stagnant. This year hit us early in the spring like a late frost wilting some of my blooming hopes. It left them sagging off the branches and pitiful. With the death of those hopes, I’ve been able to see my misplaced trust. Those things I lost, they don’t matter in eternity. The urgency of this year has forced me to reevaluate where I have placed my hope.
Faith, Hope, and Love…these three remain, and the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13). There is no arguing that the greatest of these is love. And our Faith, well, it defines us and gives us our heritage. What we believe determines who we become. Hope seems almost too insignificant for this list, but there it is, glaring at me. This list of “the big three” that will remain. These are the only three things we will take into eternity when everything else we thought was important fades to nothing. This will be what is left. It’s what we will have to show for our life here on earth. It will be what we cast at Jesus feet. That means my hope is a bigger deal than I often make it.
I just keep thinking that hope doesn’t get enough credit. It’s kind of an unsung hero. It has the ability to change my attitude and correspondingly my day. Hope can be the hero of our daily lives if we let it. Hope has the ability to direct our emotions when we choose it.
“Don’t get your hopes up.” We may not have said this, but we have thought it at some point. As we age we have been disappointed enough that we want to guard ourselves against it, but hope that is rightly placed doesn’t lead to disappointment. When we place our hope in humanity, or our country, or our circumstances we will be disappointed. There is no way around it. The answer isn’t to quit hoping, it’s to re-place my hope. What have you allowed to displace hope in your heart?
“Behold, the eye of the Lord is on you, on those who fear him,
on those who hope in His steadfast love…
Let your steadfast love be upon us, even as we hope in you.”
The only safe place to put my hope is God’s steadfast love for me. Even as I chose hope in Him, His eye is on me. I believe that when I choose to place my hope in God, it blesses Him. He overflows with steadfast love that cascades around me, even as I hope in Him.
Where do you place your daily hope? Your pay check? Your spouse? Your children? Sometimes I place my hope in something as simple as finishing my list. How can we practice placing our hope daily on God?
Ask God to rekindle your hope in just Him. Light up the spaces where He puts you with that hope. We need you, not just for the Christmas season. We need hope for 2021. The world needs us to be the light of hope.
Thank you that your eye is on me, and when I re-set my hope on you, your steadfast love is upon me. Don’t let fear or unbelief displace hope in my heart.