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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Expiration Date for Hope (Part II)

"Be joyful in hope ..."
~ Romans 12:12 (NIV)

Expiration Date for Hope (Part II)

I've been living with the notion that waiting is painful, and Heaven is the end of waiting. My recent ‘aha’ moment was the realization that waiting—and therefore hope—continues in Heaven. The expiration date for hope isn't when we first get there (yesterday’s Part I).

But waiting in Heaven can’t be painful. It surely has the excitement of anticipation, the pleasure of assurance, and plenty of joy.

And joyful hope is not exclusive to Heaven, because God's Word directs us to “Be joyful in hope."

Waiting for painful circumstances to change and difficult people (including me) to change can deplete hope before the expiration date on me and it. Yet I’ve found at least three ways to persevere with true hope:

Give thanks. We live in a suffering world. No matter what expectations are fulfilled, this place will have pain. We still have abundance of blessings worthy of our attention and gratitude.

Love others. Nothing pushes me out from under a black cloud faster than recognizing that I can’t offer much love from that place. I need to clothe myself in joyful hope to love others.

Offer praise. I do not sing “It is well with my soul” when I look at me or my life and see defect, but when I look upon my Lord and call to mind His perfect love with faith and hope.

I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.
~ Philippians 1:20 (NIV)

We know that waiting is easier when we stay busy. The saints in Heaven stay busy giving thanks, expressing love, offering praise. If we do the same, we hasten the expiration on waiting—with joyful hope.

Lord, please help us keep our eyes on You, on others, and on Your blessings while we wait for You to fulfill all Your good promises.

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  1. Yes sis, we should all stay busy. Keeping our eyes on precious blessings that we can, and should share with others. He is my joy.

  2. The offering praise one reminded me of a time I was in the hospital feeling just about the lowest I've ever felt and I couldn't stop singing, "You are the light of the world, Jesus."

    I didn't really want to be singing it, but it just kept coming out.

    It's things like this that make me so grateful for the Holy Spirit.
    ~ Wendy

  3. Gratitude, love, and praise, a great combination.

  4. Great post. I love the reminder that we don't sing "it is well" when looking at ourselves and problems, we sing it when we turn to Him. Perfectly stated! Thanks Anne.

  5. Hope is what definitely keeps my spirit alive. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Lovely. I'm sending a storm of praise and thanksgiving His way. I'm at peace and that ebbs and flows for the most part but I'm there and that's what really counts. Our God is an awesome God!

  7. Denise ~

    Of course the "stay busy" always means to be in His service and rest, not needlessly striving for temporal gains.

  8. Wendy ~

    What a testimony! I'm grateful you shared it. He's always carrying us, and it's wonderful when He allows us to feel it so clearly.

  9. Patty ~

    These are what keep us going, I think, when it's all we can do to keep putting one foot in front of another.

  10. Jason ~

    If only we said, sung and did everything with eyes only on Him ...

  11. Jennifer ~

    How nice to see you here! Loved the recent words on your blog, "could it be that if we want peace, we must not strive for anything big? Could those who dare to dream big experience an increase in ten thousands of troublers?"

    Here is where the Spirit of Hope enables us to persevere!

  12. T ~

    "You will keep in perfect peace the one stayed upon You, because [s]he trusts in You ..."

    I don't like to admit it, but I think we're supposed to have fewer ebbs and flows that we do. Oh for the day of perfection!


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