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Why We Need Hope



This was actually written a year ago, but I found it. It seemed appropriate to post here.




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Over the past week, I've been dealing with some pretty intense things. I've had to file legal papers, deal with attorneys, and get ready for a major conference. I've also had to wrestle with words and writing things that will become part of public record and influence someone's life for some time, perhaps forever.


As I was reflecting and writing this week, I knew my words needed something, for I found myself being far too condemning and harsh. I didn't want to be, but my feelings of betrayal and hurt were obvious. My dear friend Mary reminded me that everyone needs hope. The dictionary defines hope as: (v) anticipation, something to look forward to, to wait, faith, an expectation of something, (n) a desire, a dream or aspiration, an expectation, a plan, a chance.rte-bold.png


Think about it - during dark times, when our world is crashing in on us, what makes us reach out for something, anything to get us through? There is a place in every human soul that hates to give up, give in, or admit defeat. When we give up hope, we are accepting condemnation, darkness, and stagnation. Likewise, there is also something within us that forces us to admit that within the shadows are flickers of light. There is a part of us than intrinsically knows we have something to look forward to, something to do, finish, or become. Our soul knows that there is life that needs living. This is hope.


As I was doing my own soul-searching, I was forced to remember where my hope was placed. Were it not for the grace of Adonnai, I would be an absolute wreck and I realized that perhaps for some, and one person in particular, I would be the only tangible form of Adonnai and His hope that they might see or experience. So, I did a short verse search on hope.


The Psalmist said it well, "We wait and hope in the L-rd, He is our strength and shield." (Psalms 33:20) Our strength is never our own. We are mortal and tire easily. When we rest and allow Him, Adonnai can become our strength.


What about those times of exhaustion and torment when even praying seems to take too much energy? In the middle of his torment, King David spoke to his own soul, "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and Shield." (Psalms 42:5, 42:11, 43:5) As we do this, we are reminded where our hope comes from. We should encourage our souls to, "Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him." (Psalms 62:5)


As I layed my burden down, my soul began to calm down. I began to move through a range of emotions I realized I had to let go of. My soul needed rest so I could move on and begin to heal. I found my solace in Isaiah 40:28-31, "Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the L-RD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."


I was reminded that every individual could have strength and hope in Adonnai for wherever their journey in life takes them, but for many they had to start somewhere, and for one person, I was that place. As I chose to change words of my writing, I felt the missing pieces fall into place. Suddenly, the tone of my writing shifted. As I changed words of absolute condemnation into grace and tones of alienation into hope and love, I found myself smiling.


I was reminded of Emily Dickinson's words:


"Hope is a thing with feathers

That perches in the soul;

And sings the tune without words

And never stops at all."

As long as we can extend hope to someone, allow them to grasp at Adonnai's eternal love, we are encouraging their soul. In their dark time, we can help combat despair and begin to speak life. In speaking life, we are also taking time to allow the Holy Spirit to begin to restore places in a soul that we as humans are incapable of reaching.


It is humbling that we can be used in times of darkness to help others. It is even more humbling to know that our characters are being shaped and molded after Adonnai's own heart. May your own heart be encouraged and strengthened, may you renew your own hope this week.


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