A hope to hold onto

by kerriebutterfield


Image by Casa Thomas Jefferson
Flickr.com_handshake_6964013353_e7ec857740_o.jpg_CC BY NC ND-2.0

I’ve found in life that hope can be a slippery subject. Most often when you need it the most it’s difficult to hold onto, and can slip right out of your hand as you desperately seek to keep a hold of it. At least that has been my experience. I’m often driven by what I see, what I feel, and what I think I know.

Years ago, in a particularly discouraging season, as I was waking up on a Sunday morning, I had this thought run across my brain: “I’m so tired.” Not too surprising for a non-morning person like me. As I lay there, I began to agree with that feeling, and it seemed to gain strength. I mean I was tired, but as I lay there I got more tired. The next thought that skipped across my brain was, “You should sleep in. No one would even notice if you weren’t at church this morning.”

As I debated wether or not to go to church, I was reminded of Hebrews 10:23-25:

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

I knew Papa-God was speaking into my hopelessness, He was strengthening my grip on hope, and reminding me He is faithful. I could hold onto my feeling, or Him, but not both. So, I let  go fo what I felt and grabbed onto His words. I often place my hope in situations working out, people being okay, plans prospering. Almost  a “law of diminishing” returns kind of hope. I’ll keep investing as long as “this situation/this person” produces a return on my investment. God I’ll keep obeying as long as the return is worth it. I don’t say that on a conscious level but when I feel “helplessness” knocking on the door of my heart, hopelessness is right behind waiting to gain entry.

The writer of Hebrews must have written it to a community of “weary investors” like myself. He was saying, “don’t quit, it’s going to be worth it. God is able and faithful. Keep showing up and show off your love for each other, and suddenly what you hope for will arrive.”

I’ve learned, and am always learning, that my hope is often in my own capacity, which means I can lose my grip on hope easily. But God is inviting me into His capacity in which He will be faithful to what He says, what He thinks, and what He hopes for a situation or person.

Isaiah 55:8,9 says:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Sometimes we must let go of our hopes to grasp His, knowing He is trustworthy and faithful. We surrender not to our feelings but to our Father. We don’t let go of hope, we let go of our helplessness and grab onto the Helper and the securer of our hope. We hold onto Jesus not a specified direction or outcome, trusting He is good and faithful to keep HIs promise.

When we feel helpless, we must remember we have a Helper:

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever.” John 14:16

When we feel hopeless, our feelings must surrender to the faithful nature of God who can and will do what He promised. Our hope is safely invested in Him, and even when we let go,  He holds onto us. We are anchored in His ability, not our own. (Hebrews 6)