The dictionary defines hope as “a looking out for something good; a belief that what we wish for will come.” Are you hoping for the positive outcome of your dream, a sickness, or finances? Do you see the desired end result in your mind’s eye so vividly that you can almost touch it? What is your hope based on? Were you very excited yesterday when the stock market jumped or the doctor gave an optimistic prognosis? How about today, when the market had a sudden drop and the hospital reported further complications in your condition?
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1). Now, what does that mean? You mean that no matter how hard it gets and when everything points to disaster you still have to hope against all hope? So, if you clench your teeth, purse your lips and scrunch your eyes together in faith trusting your dilemma will pass, it should go, right?
Well, let’s have a look how the Bible puts it. In the fifth book of Romans it tells us to even go so far as to glory in tribulation! As you delve into it you will discover that this is true because hardships are a time of testing. The more you learn to rely on hope, and by faith wait in expectation for the desired result, the more patience will develop. Patience will result in small breakthroughs which, in turn, provide you with the experience that no one can take away from you. When you experience a miracle, however small, you have the confidence that the next time you can believe for something even bigger and better!
This whole process produces character. It generates a whole new you! Yes, one who has been hurt maybe, sick, depressed or beaten down emotionally, physically or spiritually. BUT... at the end of it you will have gained something. It may be wisdom of what not to do, a certain peace and strength you would never have realized you had, and a greater realization of who you really are. You did come out of it and now, having “been there and done that” you are in a position to help someone else through their struggles.
“Hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Do you know the love of God? Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith, for the joy set before him, endured the cross. (Heb. 12:2) He is Emmanuel, which means: “God with us.” Even though he was God, he took on a human body, whereby he was subject to all the physical and emotional circumstances as you and me. But... he endured and is now seated at the right hand of the Father, where he has prepared a place for you! What’s more, with Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you have the same Holy Spirit living in you. You’re not alone. Inside of you there is an awesome power to persevere!
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Ann Stewart is the author of “With Wings As Eagles,” An autobiographical account, it motivates, inspires and encourages others to stand victoriously in their trials.
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