31 Days of Loving Well: Hope

Definition of HOPE
(transitive verb)
1: to desire with expectation of obtainment or fulfillment
2: to expect with confidence :trust
(https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hope, 2017)

“Abraham, when hope was dead within him, went on hoping in faith, believing that he would become “the father of many nations”. He relied on the word of God which definitely referred to ‘your descendants’. With undaunted faith he looked at the facts—his own impotence (he was practically a hundred years old at the time) and his wife Sarah’s apparent barrenness. Yet he refused to allow any distrust of a definite pronouncement of God to make him waver. He drew strength from his faith, and while giving the glory to God, remained absolutely convinced that God was able to implement his own promise. This was the “faith” which ‘was accounted to him for righteousness’.(Romans 4:18-22, PHILLIPS)

“In light of all this, Lord, what am I really waiting for? You are my hope.”
(Psalm 39:7, VOICE)

For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my trust and the source of my confidence from my youth.” (Psalm 71:5, AMP)

//What does hope have to do with “Loving God well”? Nothing, if you see hope only as wishful thinking. But hope has everything to do with “Loving God well,” when I consider that to hope is “To desire with expectation of obtainment or fulfillment.” Did you notice that? “To desire with expectation of obtainment or fulfillment.” Hope also means, “To expect with confidence: TRUST.”

That hope is a demonstration of loving God well, is all the more evident when no thing in my circumstances gives me reason to hope, to believe that anything will change. In a situation that is declared hopeless according to everything I can experience with my senses, I can continue to hope because of He who is my hope (Psalm 39:7; Psalm 71:5). Like Abraham, I can face the stone cold facts of my situation and still remain confident in my God. Continue to believe confidently that He will do what He promised. And this kind of hope, this kind of trust is an act of love because, although I can trust without loving, I cannot love without trusting.//

This post was written for Day 4 of the 31 Days of Loving Well series. The prompt is, “Hope.” To read other posts in the 31 Days of Loving Well series, please click here or the image below.

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Advent Week 4: Day 6 – LOVE

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Prayer

Ancient of Days. Jehovah Shalom. Father.  May our faith (our abiding trust in You and Your promises) be constant, our hope (confident expectation of eternal salvation) be unwavering, and our love (unselfish love for others, growing out of Your love for us) be deeply rooted and maturing. Thank You for Your love.

 

 

Advent Week 1: Day 7 – Hope

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Advent Week 1: Day 6 – Hope

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Advent Week 1: Day 5 – Hope

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Advent Week 1 : Day 4 – Hope

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Advent Week 1 : Day 3 – Hope

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Advent: Week 1 – Hope

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For the next four weeks, I will suspend the Monday Vitamins and Mid-Week Boost features on this blog, to focus on the Advent season, which began this year on Sunday, November 27. Advent is a season of preparation for Christmas and extends over a period of four weeks. As stated by Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts, Christians prepare for celebrating the birth of Jesus by remembering the longing of the Jews for a Messiah. In Advent, we’re reminded of how much we ourselves also need a Savior, and we look forward to our Savior’s second coming even as we prepare to celebrate his first coming at Christmas. The word ‘Advent’ comes from the Latin word adventus, which means ‘coming’ or ‘visit.’ In the season with this name, we keep in mind both ‘advents’ of Christ, the first in Bethlehem and the second yet to come.”

Prepare. My Christmas tree is up. There are red poinsettias in pots wrapped in gold colored paper and candles and small nativity scenes in my living room. Several presents have been purchased. One can say that my preparations for Christmas have begun. But more than any physical and visible preparations I have made and can make, the one that is the most important, is the preparation of my heart.

Four themes are emphasized during Advent: Hope. Peace. Joy. Love.  In keeping with the Advent calendar, I will focus on hope this week, primarily by sharing Scripture verses on hope. Also, for the first post of each week,  I will include a link to a prayer. I pray these will be a blessing to you.

“And again, Isaiah says: ‘There shall be a root of Jesse; And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, In Him the Gentiles shall hope.’” (Romans 15:12)

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

Prayer for Hope

 

 

Hope

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Photo Credit

 “Through Him we also have access by faith into this [remarkable state of] grace in which we [firmly and safely and securely] stand. Let us rejoice in our hope and the confident assurance of [experiencing and enjoying] the glory of [our great] God [the manifestation of His excellence and power]. And not only this, but [with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships, knowing that hardship (distress, pressure, trouble) produces patient endurance; and endurance, proven character (spiritual maturity); and proven character, hope and confident assurance [of eternal salvation].  Such hope [in God’s promises] never disappoints us, because God’s love has been abundantly poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Romans 5:2-5; AMP).

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope and overflow with confidence in His promises” (Romans 15:4; AMP).

 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises” (Romans 15:13; AMP).

In Hope’s Grasp

I have been held in hope’s grasp this week as a result of verses I have read during my quiet time. Verses such as Romans 15:13 which I shared on Monday but will share the Amplified Bible’s translation today.

May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope.”

I also want to share quotes on hope from two men who maintained hope when faced with injustice.

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

How do we not lose ‘infinite hope” when in a current season, especially one that seems prolonged, everything around us has buffeted our hope and we find it slipping away? We do not lose hope by making sure that our hope is not in people and by turning to the Word of God, and reminding ourselves that He is our hope and He will not fail us. By filling our hearts and mouths with verses such as Psalm 42:11 and Psalm 43:5.

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”

Remember, “For all those words which were written long ago are meant to teach us today; that when we read in the scriptures of the endurance of men and of all the help that God gave them in those days, we may be encouraged to go on hoping in our own time.” (Romans 15:4, PHILLIPS. Click here for other translations of this verse).

An additional resource is the classic hymn, “My hope is built.” Here are the lyrics with a video.  As His children, we have every reason to hope.

1.My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

Refrain: On Christ the solid rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

2. When Darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
my anchor holds within the veil.
(Refrain)

3. His oath, his covenant, his blood
supports me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
he then is all my hope and stay.
(Refrain)

4. When he shall come with trumpet sound,
O may I then in him be found!
Dressed in his righteousness alone,
faultless to stand before the throne!
(Refrain)