Monday, November 11, 2013

praise because of Hope

i've been writing poetry on the sly...
It has been the type of prose that comes in the dark of night when sleep won't come and your imagination refuses to leave you alone.
I have a problem in that I over think *everything* - and in some seasons it creates so many imaginings that i wonder if i'll ever have a productive thought ever again in my whole life.
As I've been wrestling through some of the darkness in my own life - suddenly, this week - there was an awakening of hope. A friend sent me a text message at 8:48pm.. "How are you?"
I picked up my phone to respond, but my brain jumped in.... "Yeah.... how ARE you, paige?"
Hope whispered... "Tell her you feel me. Tell her that you are hopeful..."
Doubt washed over me, "No! Don't do that! Everything will change tomorrow - and you will be without hope and without even the dignity of knowing your own mind."
The hours passed and soon it was too late to text her back...
Morning broke - and I could see her text sill awaiting reply. But I still couldn't answer....
Ridiculous, I know.
Finally - at 2:29, I broke my silence. "Hopeful. & yes. That took me a whole day to write. Hope is so beautiful."
The bible is full of hope - (I love Romans) - and the Christian who keeps his eyes and heart focused on the hope that will not disappoint - is one who is living constantly in truth.
I read a quote the other day that, "Any area of your life that you are not experiencing hope is an area being influenced by a lie. There is ALWAYS hope."
I believe it. I sing it. I shout it. I live it.
i'm going to paste some bible references at the bottom of this post that might shed light on some of the thoughts that i've listed in point form below.

* Hope isn't something that I do all on my own. Hope is given to me by the Holy Spirit. I can ask Him for it when I need to.

* It's in times of darkness and uncertainty that I need hope - and even then - it's a fixing of eyes on the unseen. It's a hold my breath and keep my eyes on the horizon for the rising of the sun. It's a choice to believe even when I have yet to see. There is a beauty in the anticipation of hope - like a pause in music or a dancer who is motionless... a closing of the eyes - knowing the music will soon swell around me as I breathe - "here it comes..."

* Hope doesn't have to be full of sorrowful martyrdom. No. Hope should bring us joy - it should bring peace and patience to our waiting - and when we experience Hope by the power of the Holy Spirit - it should lead us to praise God. To really PRAISE GOD - as we faithfully continue to pray about the situations we're in.

* Hope doesn't mean that I just surrender and then lay down in the fetal position. Hope is a word that gives me the courage to act. i'm digging in, i'm learning and i'm putting one foot in front of the other - because I hope - that God is leading me through.

It has been so amazing lately to be able to understand that we're all in this together. We're all carrying burdens both seen and unseen. Some are struggling with things that are easy to talk about - and some are suffering in silence afraid of the stigma surrounding their mental illness, their failed marriage, their drug addiction or criminal charges. My sister shared a quote with me the other day, "Legalism says, 'what a shame'. Grace says, 'that could be me'. Humility says, 'that is me... " & I guess that's where i'm at these days. We're all messed up - we're all broken... and none of us... not one... is without hope.

Psalm 43:5

New International Version (NIV)
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.

Psalm 71:14

New International Version (NIV)
14 As for me, I will always have hope;
    I will praise you more and more.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

New International Version (NIV)
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Romans 12:12

New International Version (NIV)
12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Romans 15:13

New International Version (NIV)
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.



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