Living Into The Hope

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“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15)

Not too long after I wrote my last post, What To Do With A Heavy Heart, I read the following quote from Emily Freeman’s book, A Million Little Ways:

“We don’t embrace the wonder of life on earth by calling bad things good. The bad things are bad. Cancer steals.  People make horrible decisions. Children are abandoned. There really is abuse, injustice, dysfunction, and war. Jesus really was crucified.

The hope of all believers is that, in the end, the good wins out. The death of Christ was horrific. But the victory of his resurrection was more wonderful than the terror of his crucifixion. Living life like an artist means seeing both sides and knowing who wins.”

For some reason, this really sunk in. I got it. It helped. Mostly to realize that I don’t have to ignore the hard things that happen in the lives of those around me, in the world around me. I just need to figure out a way to not let it crush my hope. To continue to “embrace the wonder” and keep on pursuing the life God calls me to make in the midst of it all.

But it’s not always easy. At times it’s hard to face the evil in this world and still have hope. It’s hard to remember good wins out while in the middle of difficult circumstances. It’s hard to feel there are no words to offer a hurting friend when relief seems so far away.

Yet these are precisely the places into which Emily’s quote speaks. We don’t need to shy away from this tension.  We can acknowledge it and yet still have hope through Christ. I am reminded of a passage in Romans 5 which speaks of a hope that will not disappoint us:

Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvationAnd this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” (Romans 5:2-5)

This passage certainly doesn’t shy away from the tension in our world either.  In fact, it faces it head on with an eternal perspective and optimism that is almost hard to take.  Is it truly possible to “rejoice in problems and trials” because we acknowledge God can ultimately use such things to give us an even greater hope in Him?

However, Paul isn’t telling us to us to rejoice in the problems and trials themselves but to accept when they do happen because we know God will redeem even these things in our lives.  The quote from A Million Little Ways sheds light on this as well.  It suggests we can retain our wonder about life because of the realization that good, and God, will ultimately prevail – even if we might not see it right away or even in our lifetime.

The chorus from a song called God Is On The Move keeps popping into my head while writing this post.  This song also speaks of the tension we live into as both believers in Christ and also as people living in a fallen world.  Its lyrics go like this:

Anytime a heart turns from darkness to light
Anytime temptation comes and someone stands to fight
Anytime somebody lives to serve and not be served
I know, I know, I know, I know

God is on the move, on the move
Hallelujah
God is on the move
In many mighty ways

God is on the move, on the move
Hallelujah
God is on the move
On the move today

Anytime in weakness someone falls upon their knees
Or dares to speak the truth that sets men free
Anytime the choice is made to stand upon the Word
I know, I know, I know, I know

God is on the move, on the move
Hallelujah
God is on the move
In many mighty ways

God is on the move, on the move
Hallelujah
God is on the move
On the move today

Yea

I see a generation
Standing on the truth
In each and every nation
God is on the move

Anytime the gospel stirs a searching soul
And someone says, “Send me, here I go”
I know, I know, I know, I know

God is on the move, on the move
Hallelujah
God is on the move
In many mighty ways

God is on the move, on the move
Hallelujah
God is on the move
On the move today

This song fits well with how The Message puts the Romans 5 passage, “…we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged” (Romans 5:3-5).

In this paraphrase, hope is called, “alert expectancy.”  I like this definition.  To live life with eyes wide open to the hardships all around but also with an alert expectation for what God is doing in the midst of it. The promise is that this kind of wonder, this kind of hope will never let us down.  Let’s live into that!

**I’m linking up to Holley Gerth’s Coffee For Your Heart today. Click on the image below to find other great posts in the linkup!**

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2 thoughts on “Living Into The Hope

    1. Bethany Post author

      Hi Julie,
      Thanks for stopping by! True, we do need a kingdom-focus for sure in our lives. That helps so much.
      Thanks, Bethany

      Reply

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