I heard the Voice in my head say, ” why don’t you write an essay on Hope.”
What a topic ! Because hope can be so elusive, not easy to pin down, let alone examine.
What is hope ? I scratched my head, and thought it a topic for another day. So I put it on the back burner of procrastination.
But it wouldn’t go away. Hope came looking for attention on nearly everything I read, heard, even the people I met along the way that week seemed to shout out “I’m Hope” look at me ! Well it seemed that Hope needed some serious attention.
I think, initially, it was while I was reading the verses in Romans that raised the whole question of hope. Verses like: if you can see hope its not longer hope – but hope that is seen is not hope – Romans 8:24.
And hope, even if there is no hope – who contrary to hope in hope believed. – Romans 4: 18
So I went on a hope hunt, and found :
We are prisoners of Hope… Zechariah 9:12
Hope is the anchor of our souls.…Hebrews 6:19
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when desire comes it is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12
All very comforting, rewarding and necessary to know.
Is Hope and Faith the same thing ?
We hope in something we cannot see, but is that not faith ? Is Faith then something else ? Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen !! A little more head scratching !! Faith says that we call things into being as if they exist, – but if we can’t see them, how can we call them? What comes first, Hope or Faith – the egg or the chicken so to speak ! This is where Desire comes in, those little seeds of wishes and wants and dreams. So is it Desire, Hope then Faith ? Is Hope a carrier of Faith? Well, if Hope comes from Desire, that is God-given and put into our hearts (the incubator), in the first place, then Faith must be to Believe, – the belief of the promise, the patience and the determination to see it through into existance, – into Reality.
That is for vision building, but of course, Hope can go the other way too. It can be the very crutch we lean upon when things go wrong. On considering Hope, I came across a few Blogs that week on Hope, by accident of course! I came a little closer to looking at, and being astonished at, Hope.
A man named Bill who has for the best part of eighteen years suffered with classic motor neuron disease, which is a disease that attacks the nerve cells responsible for contolling voluntary muscles. His blog is called unshakable hope !! Need I say more. Visit the blog and let Bill tell you his story.
Another self-improvement blog on WordPress called Dopeylife wrote a thought provoking post on Desire vs Need, which challenged me to think deeply on Desire equals Hope, and I made a long comment on that blog, trying to figure it all out.
That very same week I, co-incidently, met Tiffy at the grocery shop. She is a lady who lives in our complex. She was preparing to go and see the cancer specialist, who had successfully treated her for her first bout with cancer. She looked and sounded very optimistic even cheerful, and said she just hoped and prayed that God would grant her
the peace, and the joy to carry her through the next bout of treatment for this new cancer.
Hope is an eternal carrier for Life.
We cannot live without it for Hope gives us a Future !!
While watching a movie on Stephen Hawkins, a professor in quantum physics, who has a muscular disabling disease and lives his life crumpled-up in a wheelchair, I caught this phrase he spoke to an audience :
“Where there is life, there is Hope.” One can only stand to humble attention, when these words are spoken by a person so crippled, yet not broken, and living with hope.
It slowly dawned on me that Hope is only truly appreciated if you have your back against a wall and there is no way of getting out of the situation. No way, No help. The only way is looking up to God who can make a way out, (whether we acknowledge this or not !) or carry us over or through the troubling waters of trials and tibulations. And more – give us the grace to bear it all. Further more to that, we may never see the desired results we hoped for in the first place! – but some may come to see something even better and far more far-reaching. We seldom, maybe even never, get to see the end from the beginning.
I had heard the Preacher say, that Hope is one of the cores of the Christian faith. That is true ! I remembered one of my favourite Scripture verses is found in Proverb 13:12 …
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when Desire comes it is a tree of life... and a beautiful picture of a blossom tree in full bloom came to my mind.
So, now I’ll talk “pictures” to tell a little story of Hope .
The Why Me tree, with outstretched arms to heaven, in a cold and barren land.
The painful wounds of pruning, sealed up with a healing balm for protection and healing.
Beautiful full budded blossoms, bursting into bloom, making a splendid show, announcing the cold barren winter is over.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when desire comes it is a tree of life.
Ah, there it is, the new fruit, for a new season! Is this the reason for Hope ?
The Fruit. Delicious, delightful, delectable and plump, ready-to-eat peaches, basking in a sunshine day, just waiting to be picked for our pleasure.
Hang in there, little Twig. You’re part of a beautiful tree, in a very big orchard, created by a loving, caring and wise Gardener, who knows your seasons well, and what’s best for the fruit bearing trees of His orchard. You are not alone. Bloom where you are planted.
We have been intrinsictly wired for Hope.
Hope comes through spoken words, that blow on the gentle thermaIs of the Wind, or even through written words that can give birth to pictures, to concepts and plans, to life, and the eternal life hereafter.
Hope is elusive, catch it if you can… it will carry you through whatever season of hope or despair you are in, carry you on to faith, and a desired end.
God says :
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11