Monday, November 30, 2015

Hanging On To Hope

Dear Friends,

Not too long ago I was concerned about two of our grandchildren. Instead of panicking and praying about every new problem that arose, I took a step back and began to pray the “bigger thing” for them. I started to pray for them that they would so love the Lord that they would end up either on the mission field making waves for God or being change makers--instruments of change--in the marketplace. I began to thank God in advance for hearing and answering this prayer.

Almost at once I noticed a difference. As I refused to be intimidated by my concerns for them and began to claim God’s best, I witnessed a turnaround in their choices, behaviors, and ambitions. I refused to major on the minors, worrying about every little crisis along the way, but turned my prayers to the major things in their future. I prayed about the positives and quit praying about the negatives. I loved and trusted them on my knees before God. Try it!

Lord God of my grandchildren, I am aching for those I love. Turn them around for your sake. Direct their feet into the path of life. Make of them mighty forces for your kingdom. Call them into such a vibrant relationship with you that people will find Christ through them. May they love you more dearly and know you more nearly, moments by moment and day by daily day. May they love you as you love them. And may this spiritual renewal in their hearts and lives spill over into their family and their world. Lord, I trust you to do this new work of grace in their lives, and I trust them to respond. Lord, I believe in them. I believe the best about them. I refuse to think about the worst but leave you to take care of those dark things. Have your own marvelous way in their lives. Thank you, Lord, in advance for doing this. How I love and praise you for these things that shall come to pass. I love and trust you, Lord. Amen.

Hope is overwhelming confidence in the God who can do anything with anyone at any time in any place. In Greek though, hope was essential for man’s well-being. The Greeks had a myth that Zeus gave humankind all good things for life and put them in a jar. Curiosity lifted the lid, and all the food things in the jar escaped back to the gods. The lid was slammed shut, and hope was trapped. The gods knew that hope was essential for the well-being of humankind. That’s a nice fable, but they got one thing very right. Hope is essential for the well-being of humankind! “Where there’s life there’s hope,” the saying goes. The converse is also true. Where there’s hope there’s life.

Hope is something that belongs very particularly to the Christian. The New Testament talks about a “living hope” (1 Peter 1:3, NIV). Psychologist Sigmund Freud said we needed to look to the past for hope. So everyone began to dig up their past. Then came the people who said, “No, hope is to be found not in the past but in the present.” Then existentialism ruled the day. Now with people’s hearts failing them for fear because of international situations, many are looking towards the future, trying to find hope in these uncertain days. This is where Christians come into their own! Christian love always has hope for the future.

Christians actually have the best of all worlds. We can look back on the past and know we are forgiven; we can cope with the problems of the present because we have hope for the future. This hope enabled us to keep an eye on what’s ahead while being a blessing to people in our here and now. This living hope enables us to cope with all eventualities and sets us free to love people to faith along the way.


Jill Briscoe
Executive Editor
Just Between Us Magazine 

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