Hope: Tuesday

As I was putting together these devotions, the more I wrote about hope the more I realized, as I read back over my pages, that everything sounded kind of…depressing. In every single devotion the format went something like this: “Terrible things happen, life is rough, everything fails us, people in the Bible suffered, we suffer, but hey!  There’s hope!” I thought, “Ugh, this is going to be the worst Christmas devotion ever.

Until it occurred to me that in order to have hope, you have to know there is something better than what you’re experiencing at this very moment.  Which means, by default, that what we’re living in right now is far from perfect.  (Can I get an amen?)  If everything were rainbows and poppies all the time, hope would be obsolete; we wouldn’t have any need of it.

And over time, instead of feeling melancholy about this pattern, I began to love it, because it The Bible follows the same course - from Genesis to Revelation.  Life from death, hope from despair.  Man sinned in the garden, but there’s hope!  Man rebels throughout history, but there’s hope!  The things of this world fail us.  But there’s hope!  Christ was crucified, but there’s hope!

So I’ve begun to appreciate the darkness, in a kind of way.  That is to say, I’m not afraid of it, or of talking or singing about it anymore.  I don’t think it’s negative or self-centered to talk or sing about our current less-than-perfect condition.  In fact, I think it’s biblical:

“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us...”  [Romans 5:3-5]

The bridge in one of my favorite worship songs these days says this,

“My flesh may fail me, Heart may fail me, Everything I have may fail me, My only hope is resting at Your feet!”

(Listen here)**

At first glance it might sound a little dreary – all that failure.  But I am filled to overflowing with joy when I sing it (at the top of my lungs, which I recommend to each of you), because I think that God is glorified when we acknowledge that our hope is centered on Him, and that nothing lesser will do.  “My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus blood and righteousness.

So I’m okay with a little bit of dreary, with a little bit (or a lot bit) of struggle, because “Everything I have may fail me,” and even so, my hope is secure; it is built on Jesus Christ, who “is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

Meditate on these verses today:

“Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”  [Psalm 73:25-26]

“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us...”  [Romans 5:3-5]

Acknowledge to God that your only hope is resting at His feet.  Give Him glory for being worthy of all of our hope and faith.  He never fails.  Make sure that He is the hope of your life and the strength of your heart today.

**The version of this song from the album, "Sons and Daughters" sings the bridge 3 times (instead of only one), and it's paired with another great song.  Worth checking out.