Hope Remains

HOPE REMAINS

Wendy Sue Pankey

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:7, 13

I feel like I am pretty hopeful most of the time… except when I’m not. 

A quick Google search defines hope as: (n) a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen; a feeling of trust; (v) to want something to happen or be the case.

As Christians, hope is the conviction that God will keep His promises. Faith is putting our trust in God to help us through life by opening doors, providing a way out; while HOPE is the belief in what could be and redefines what is probable, opening our eyes to the impossible.

In the video teaching for this week, our teachers talk about how Mary gave everything because she knew that in Jesus she had gained everything. Her hope and expectations were born out of her experience of life change, from being rejected to being chosen, and from her many interactions with Jesus.  

It’s easy for me to look at her story and not feel an ounce of similarity between what she experienced and what I experience as it pertains to Jesus. It’s easy for me to think my faith would be so much stronger if I saw Jesus face to face and had literal conversations with him over coffee. I can tell myself that my hope would be steadfast if I only had what she had. But is that real hope?

When I was 7 years old, I walked into a courtroom to face my sexual abuser.  Sitting on that stand, answering questions from attorneys, having to repeat myself because my little girl voice wasn’t being picked up by the microphone recording what I was saying, watching my mom cry… My heart clung to the faith and hope of my little girl prayers. 

I clung to what I had been taught, what I believed, and what I HOPED for. My hope kept me focused on God’s promises and trusting Him with my future. My hope gave me the courage to speak the truth and believe that this was a way out of a lot of yuck. My hope was all I had when people were taken away, relationships were strained, and life never returned to what it was. My hope helped me to love, to pray, and to forgive. Hope helped me believe – with all of my 7 year old heart – that I was loved and that there was more to my life than the pain and darkness I’d experienced.  

My hope helped me survive.

When I really look at my life, I see pretty quickly that my story is more like Mary’s than I first thought. I, too, have experienced life change. I, too, have been rejected and chosen. I, too, have had encounters with Jesus through prayer and worship and other people. And through Jesus, I, too, have gained everything.  

When I look at those times in my life when I have been the most desperate for hope, like when I was 7,  hope and faith were all I had. Which leads me to believe that, much like Mary, in order for me to experience more hope, I need to give Him everything.  

Steps of Faith: God – thank you for loving us.  Thank you for giving everything so we could have a relationship with you. Thank you for your patience as we wrestle to give you everything. Thank you for your promises where we can place our hope.  Help us to see where we have had hope and where we can have hope, and remind us of your faithfulness. Thank you that our perspective is not the end and that we can have hope because we have you.

Deeper Walk Scripture: Romans 5:2b-5, Romans 15:13, Psalm 139:7-12, Isaiah 40:28-31

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