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Friday, February 26, 2010

Hope Does Not Disappoint

"None are completely wretched but those who are without hope."
~ William Hazlitt

Hope Does Not Disappoint

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.
~ Proverbs 13:12 (NKJV)

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
~ Romans 5:5 (NKJV)

There's lately been more than one cause in my life for me to think on what hope means.

In the movie Shawshank Redemption, a man in prison says, "Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane. It's got no use on the inside."

And so it is. When we feel imprisoned in some way—by jail walls, by a hated but necessary job, by sickness, by rejection, by a stigma wrongfully forced upon us, by conflict in a relationship—hope is dangerous. It opens the door to expectation for change, and we know that life is brutal to expectations.

But without hope, we fail to act as our own catalyst for change. We fail to confront the status quo, telling ourselves "it is what it is." We fail to pursue what we are called to do that painfully stretches us. We fail to chip away at the walls we build around ourselves which have come to feel secure in their dependability and protection from uncertainty.

True hope is not expectation for something specific, like to get a new job, or to change the person we struggle with, or to attain a goal we've set.

True hope says, "This pain, this indignity, this labor—this love—is not in vain. It drives me to be a catalyst for change where change is needed. It drives me to cooperate with the plan God has to bless me and work for good. It allows me to surrender even that which I think I need, because God says to do so, and Faith in His Love gives me Hope for something even better."

Genuine hope does not die. But it does cease, as does faith. 1 Corinthians 13:13 says, "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

Faith is being certain of the unseen. It finds its fulfillment—and ceases—in the seeing.

Hope is waiting for promised blessing. It finds its fulfillment—and ceases—in the receiving.

Love is greatest. And on the day spoken of in Scripture as That Day, love will no longer wax and wane, but will find complete fulfillment, for love cannot cease.

That is true hope.

"Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well
but the certainty that something makes sense,
regardless of how it turns out."
~ Vaclav Havel

Lord, faith does not fail us when faith is in You. Hope does not disappoint when hope is in You. Love always trusts, love always hopes, and love never fails, for You, Lord God, are love.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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  1. "Genuine hope does not die." Amen. Hope is truly one of the most beautiful words.

    I thought of your post the other day tied in with Dickinson's..."Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul..."

    You'd written about how God covers over us with His feathers.

    I pray your weekend is lit up with His love,

  2. Faith hope and love will remain until Jesus returns, but will we need the first two in eternity? I've wondered if my bible (NIV) was worded incorrectly when it suggested they will last forever.(I'll have to go back and double check the text.) I do remember wondering if Faith and hope were lasting ordinances. (Sorry for the tangent.)

    No matter how down I get I'm too full of hope to ever let go of the things I long for.

  3. I can relate to much in this post. Sometimes there comes a point where there is no hope except in God ~ and He does not fail ~ thankfully.

  4. Wendy ~ I like the idea of hope perched so lightly in the soul, as the feathers of God's wings over our lives. *sigh* Thanks for that image.

    T ~ It's not a tangent at all. No, faith and hope are not for eternity. We don't need them once they've been fulfilled. Of the Faith-Hope-Love triangle, only Love is forever.

    Patty ~ I agree. True Hope does lie in God. We have Hope in other things, but it's more the "wish" aspect of Hope. I hope my children walk with the Lord all their lives, but it is not guaranteed. Hope in God is based on His promises—no "wish" involved. It is absoultely certain, and only a matter of waiting. :D

  5. I really need the hope today of all days. It's dark outside and in, and I need to be reminded that there is light somewhere out there! Thanks dear friend for the reminder

  6. David ~ Hope is about waiting. How many things are as difficult as waiting? "Wait upon the Lord" is as much about waiting with Him. In the waiting, He is with us. The original Hebrew means "bound up together" in the waiting.

  7. My hope is in Him. I am very thankful for the hope Father God daily gives me.

  8. There is always room for more messages of hope -- to reflect on, to keep us going. We are waiting for a Person, not a resolution, at times.

  9. Denise ~ Every shred of hope to which I cling is in my Abba.

    Bonnie ~ The irony lies in the fact that I am bound up together with Him for Whom I wait. He will not--does not-- disappoint.

    Father God, I love You, I wait upon You, I commit my soul into Your hands.

  10. i read this before and came back to read it again but never realized that it was posted on my birthday:) been thinking about it lately too. Thank you and PRAISE ADONAI !!! reply needed:)

  11. "No reply needed" ?

    Not even Happy Birthday?

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Bud Ezekiel.

    Lord, thank you for the encouragement You give me through my brother. Please bless him wil full and abundant Life and Love.


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