Sunday, January 6, 2013

Living With Full Assurance of Hope


“... realize the full assurance of hope to the very end...”
— Hebrews 6:11b (NRSV)
What we struggle most with in life is hope.
Hope is behind faith, but not just that, it’s behind happiness and contentment as well. Hope fuels many, many good things that resonate truthfully within outlooks on life that work.
A great sign of hope is the preparedness to invest in faith; to continue onward even beyond points of relative despairing. Hope is a poignant indicator of the resilience of our faith, as faith is a poignant indicator of the presence of our hope. These two, hand in hand, are our greatest need in a life that often presents as discouraging, if not occasionally devastating.
As hope is the fuel for the engine that is faith, and we need to ensure we continually and consistently refuel as we need to.
Preaching Ourselves the Gospel of Hope
We have this great need, as we awaken of any morning, though at times we skip out of bed without needing to be reminded.
This great need is to preach ourselves the gospel of hope; that no matter how fatiguing or tough life has become, we tell ourselves to hope in God—per the psalmist in Psalm 42:5. No matter the presence of fear, isolation, resentment or rejection we can still tell ourselves to hope in God, and then look up in faith.
This is a good principle of faith; that we are that willing to trust and obey; that we trust even when it seems that that trust will be forlorn. Such an invisible hope is a real hope, for no hope that presents as visible is a real hope.
The full assurance of hope is the blessedness of forging on as if we’re blessed when indeed we’re not being blessed.
Such a hope that continues despite many manifestations of hopelessness (as the world sees them as hopeless) agrees with God—for the Lord turns hope on its head. Where we dignify ourselves by believing against sight, going forth in faith alone, we exemplify and, therefore, redeem the full assurance of hope.
Preaching ourselves the gospel of hope, despite circumstances seemingly opposite, is the way of living the full assurance of hope. Such a hope will be, and is, fully assured.
God has asked for such obedience and when we obey, likewise, we place ourselves in the position of ultimate blessedness.
***
Hope goes on despite a lack of blessing. It believes in the blessings that have not yet even arrived. Hope continues on despite disappointment, drudgery, delay, and discouragement. And because it does, it proves our faith, and through hope alone to not give up we please God.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.

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