Hope. It is something for which I sense the world aching. It seems to be the theme of the majority of my conversations. It was a central theme in this past month's election. Many awaited as they longed for hope in the form of their canidate of choice taking office. We look for hope in relief from the economic mess in our world and we look for hope in relief from the stresses of our daily lives. Over 2000 years ago there was also an ache for hope. It had been over 400 years since the Israelites had heard from the Lord, they were held captive and were in great need of relief from the years of turmoil, silence, fear, and captivity. Hope was needed like water to a desert wanderer. This longing for hope I see today.
Yesterday I called one of the young women who lives upstairs only to find her in the midst of a personal crisis. I invited her to come downstairs and she ended up doing so. By the time she made it through our door she was a wreck. She was feeling as though all of life was collapsing around her and she could do nothing to stop it. She kept asking, "what did I ever do to deserve this? What will ever become of me? All hope is lost." Although those were not her exact words, they were the theme in the midst of pain, fear and questions. I listened to a young woman in the midst of a battle for hope. She spent the night on our couch and woke the next morning to find hope restored as she found a new circumstance in which to place her hope.
I have listened to countless stories over the past months of people unsure of what to do with God and life, because life's circumstances or even the potential of things that could come cause one to waver in hope. I read once that hope is faith coupled with expectation. Today in My Upmost For His Highest I read, "If your faith is in experiences, anything that happens is likely to upset that faith; but nothing can ever upset God or the almighty Reality of Redemption; base your faith on that, and you are as eternally secure as God." Hope that will not fail is hope that is placed in life's only constant faith coupled with expectation from and in the Lord.
As I have entered the Advent season I am highly aware of a need for hope and as I bring my friends before the Lord I find myself begging the Lord to give them and be their hope. I have also had to ask myself, "in what do I place my hope?" If it is in anything other than the Almighty, it is false and will fail me, for hope is not the fulfillment of my wishes, but it a rich expectancy placed in the character and being of God. Hope Has Come.