Today I want to tell you about a beautiful, silver-plated word that hangs on the knob of a cupboard in my office. Last Christmas I walked into a shop and immediately this ornament caught my eye. On rows of burgundy ribbons hung the words: Peace, Love and Joy, but the word that caught my attention was: HOPE. I bought it and came home delighted with my purchase.I hung it on one of my kitchen cupboards, I then moved it to my office and at Christmas it had pride of place on our tree. However, after Christmas as I packed away the decorations to store in the attic, I just could not bring myself to pack away my silver-plated HOPE – so it found its way back into my office! HOPE, like Jesus, is something I need all year round!
In the world in which we live we need HOPE. Heartache, tragedies and hopelessness abound – just listen to what people are talking about or watch a news bulletin! We all experience moments in life when everything comes crashing in. In those moments our greatest need is, you guessed it: HOPE.
Last year, God brought this quotation from Emily Dickinson, to my attention 5 days before my world was shaken:
‘HOPE’ IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS THAT PERCHES IN THE SOUL, AND SINGS THE TUNE WITHOUT THE WORDS, AND NEVER STOPS AT ALL.
I knew that God had deposited something special in my heart. For the next five days I thanked God for this beautiful revelation. Let me explain:
I love God’s birds and my husband and I generously feed our many and varied garden birds. It was as though God was telling me that the Holy Spirit, which is often symbolized as a dove, had come to perch in my soul like a bird, to bring me hope. Birds sing endlessly from dawn to dusk, it seems as though nothing can steal their joy. Many times we know a tune but can’t remember the words … and sometimes life can deal us a blow that leaves us speechless. God ministered to my heart that even when I am lost for words, the Holy Spirit would keep me singing and I would not stop. Even on my worst day I have been aware of ‘HOPE’ within. A God-given ‘bird song’. Praise God!
God brought HOPE to my soul 5 days before I needed it – how much He loves and cares for me! How much he loves and cares for YOU – because the same Holy Spirit is willing to come and perch in YOUR soul when next you feel hopeless. Your pain and heartache may be so great that you may not even be able to find the words to pray. But I promise you that from your innermost being you will hear a soft, humming sound that will rise up in you and turn your sorrow into joy. It has been a miraculous experience for me and I know, my dear Neighbour, that the Holy Spirit has no limitations – He is available to YOU today, even as you read this letter!
To HOPE means ‘to look with expectation and desire.’
Hopelessness causes all desire and expectation to melt away like snow under the midday sun. It makes the heart sick and it shatters our dreams. Job was a righteous man, but there was a time in his life when he felt hopeless amidst great trials and suffering. These are his heart-wrenching words:My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle,
And are spent without hope.
As water wears away stones,
And as torrents wash away the soil of the earth;
So You destroy the hope of man.
Maybe you can identify with him. Do you feel worn down? Does it feel like a part of your life has been violently washed away in a flood? Then you too, need HOPE.
David wrote in the Psalms:
And now, Lord, what do I wait for?
My hope is in You.
I rise before the dawning of the morning,
And cry for help;
I hope in Your word.
There is only one place to find HOPE – in God and His Word, the Bible.
As Christians, we have a BETTER HOPE in Jesus Christ because of His sacrifice. There is no longer a need for animals to be slaughtered in order for our sins to be forgiven. Jesus shed His blood on the Cross, as a once-for-all-time perfect sacrifice, so that our sins may be forgiven.…for the law made nothing perfect ; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. (Hebrews 7:19)
As Christians, we have a BLESSED HOPE in Jesus Christ because He has promised to return to take us home. …looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:13)
As Christians, we have a LIVING HOPE in Jesus Christ because He rose from the dead. We, too, will be resurrected to enjoy our inheritance reserved in heaven for us. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3)
I also discovered in God’s Word a HOPE that BELIEVES FOR THE IMPOSSIBLE! Abraham and Sarah were barren but God made a promise that he would be a father of many nations. How could that happen when they were old and past their prime? Impossible! But the Word of God says that Abraham, …in hope believed….not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old) and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. (Romans 4:18-21)
HOPE that is seen is not hope! If you could see a way out of your situation you wouldn’t need HOPE! HOPE comes into its own when you are up against a brick wall! But if we hope for what we do not see, then we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. (Romans 8:25)
And this, dear Neighbour, is the last thought I want to leave with you:
In the midst of your hopelessness, call out to God and read His Word. Don’t be shy but boldly ask RIGHT NOW for the Holy Spirit to come like a dove and perch in your soul. Let Him bring you heavenly HOPE that will cause you to sing even on the darkest day! Believe and trust God for the impossible in your life. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast. (Hebrews 6:19)
In a storm or even with the daily gentle movements of the waters of life we can drift away and become lost and hopeless.
Dear Neighbour, your soul needs the anchor of HOPE that is found in Jesus Christ. Ask for it and I know that it will be yours today!