Skip to main content

Hope Doesn't Float: It Grows

I have been thinking a lot about hope this year.

My thoughts are decidedly Jesus-based, but I think that as humans, Christian or not, we're wired to look for hope. We need hope, and the fact that we don't do well without it says something to me. I'm not sure what, but I could get lost in all these thoughts. In fact, I have been...

Back in May, I was drawn to Romans 5:1-5, and ever since, I've been mulling it over. And over and over.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

These have been my thoughts/questions:
  1. what does it mean that hope does not put us to shame (in the NIV, hope does not disappoint)? All of us have had our hopes disappointed at one time or another.
  2. how is God's love in our hearts the reason/explanation for hope's shamelessness?
  3. apparently, my hope should be increasing the more that I suffer (and see suffering)... How does this work? My natural inclination is to become more cynical, not more hopeful.

Mind-boggling questions that I don't have answers to.

But I'm clinging to the truth of hope. Hope that does not disappoint. I am deeply convinced that redemption is always a possibility - no, that redemption can be a certainty. I don't understand how, and I know that it rarely looks like what I think it will look like. But if hope is empty and redemption isn't a reality, then what are we doing?

For me, at the end of the day, I think my hope is in these two statements:
  1. Jesus is at work.
  2. Someday I will see how this made me look more like Him and how it benefited others.
(Translating those into the concrete reality of day-to-day life is something altogether more challenging than typing them on this page.)

I don't often say this, but I really would like to hear your thoughts from out there in cyberland. What's your take on hope? How does it function in your life? What's it based on, if Jesus isn't your thing?


mellamovaca said…
hey beth, it's funny b/c i've been mulling over hope these last several months too, especially romans 15:13 - May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, you may abound in hope. It hit me that joy and peace (only the kind given by God as you choose to believe) are almost like prerequisites for hope. And that hope is delivered by the power of the Holy Spirit. so simple. i don't have to eek it out.

also, i've been thinking about you a lot... i got those photos developed from the fox and hound... not the best pictures ever ;) but what made it even worse is that Walmart double exposed my negatives so on several pictures there is another a family standing on their front porch... it would make a good prop for a scary movie about the ghosts of a family coming back to haunt us. also, if we're ever in the same place again, i would more than seriously consider starting a photog company with you. but the kind of company where we just do what we want and don't get crazy busy or stressed b/c we can do it when we feel like it.

hope you're doing well and enjoying life!
Anonymous said…
Hi Beth,
It's been a long time since I visited your blog and now as I explore it it makes me miss hanging out with you.
Here are my thoughts on that passage and hope in general. Perhaps there is only one assured hope, the hope to see the glory of God displayed. That hope will never disappoint and the more we are refined the greater that hope becomes and the more assured we become of its certainty. Our hopes that things will work out this way or that way those are the ones that often disappoint.

Popular posts from this blog

What About Travis!?

I just watched Hope Floats, the second movie in my I-really-need-to-vegetate night. Now that we have more than three channels, there are so many quality programs on TV! Like movies in the middle of the week. I enjoyed many of the lines in this movie, including:

"I went home and told my mama you had a seizure in my mouth."
(referring to her first french-kissing experience)

"Dancing's just a conversation between two people. Talk to me."
(the conversation in our living room then went,
Girl 1: Only Harry Connick Jr. could say that line without it being incredibly cheezy.
Boy: Without it being cheezy? That's all I heard. Cheez, cheez, cheez.
Girl 2: Yeah, but it was sexy, sexy cheez...sigh.)
"Better do what she says, Travis. Grandma stuffs little dogs."

Bernice: At home we had a pet skunk. Mama used to call it Justin Matisse. Do you think that's just a coincidence? All day long she would scream, "You stink Justin Matisse!" Then one day she just…

Fostering FAQ: What's Her (Mom's) Story?

This is probably the second most common question I hear about the baby currently in our care, right after, "Will you keep her?"

It comes in many forms:

"So, what's her story?"
"Is her mom in the picture?"
"How did she end up in your home?
"Is her mom a drug addict?"
"How could a mom not love such a cute baby!"

I get it. It's natural curiousity, and I know I've asked similar questions of my friends who are adoptive parents.

But here's what I'm learning: a child's story is their own. And equally as important, the parent's story is their own.

Imagine how it might feel to hear that for the foreseeable future, you are not allowed to care for your child. On top of whatever difficult circumstances you are already in - perhaps poverty, social isolation, lack of adequate housing, domestic violence, intergenerational trauma, drug or alcohol dependency, low cognitive functioning, or a myriad of other complex strug…

Simone Weil: On "Forms of the Implicit Love of God"

Simone Weil time again! One of the essays in Waiting for God is entitled "Forms of the Implicit Love of God." Her main argument is that before a soul has "direct contact" with God, there are three types of love that are implicitly the love of God, though they seem to have a different explicit object. That is, in loving X, you are really loving Y. (in this case, Y = God). As for the X of the equation, she lists:

Love of neighbor Love of the beauty of the world Love of religious practices and a special sidebar to Friendship
“Each has the virtue of a sacrament,” she writes. Each of these loves is something to be respected, honoured, and understood both symbolically and concretely. On each page of this essay, I found myself underlining profound, challenging, and thought-provoking words. There's so much to consider that I've gone back several times, mulling it over and wondering how my life would look if I truly believed even half of these things...

Here are a few …