At the start of things; new years, new decades, new seasons, we look to the possibilities. We have hopes and dreams for this future we see spanning ahead of us. We make plans and set goals and set our hopes by hitting them. We hope for good things, like a wish we can make true.
We set off with a hope translated into expectation, the way it should be. And yet. Sometimes our dreams come crashing down around us. Time out runs us. Plans fail. Dreams die. Hope is lost. But not all hope.
And then things start to go well and suddenly a curve ball, situations change, people let you down. Just this week whilst trying to write this piece on hope, something that made our family feel hopeful changed and again I found myself navigating dashed hopes, dealing with people letting us down and disappointment. My biggest loss of hope was when a business my husband and I owned couldn’t continue to function. Dreams of providing a home and income for our family were broken. I started to lose hope that God would ever provide for us again. It broke my heart to see my dreams fail. Especially those that felt God ordained. Over the journey of recovery there have been amazing times of provision where we find hope but there have also been situations so unbelievably difficult where the enemy of hope seemed to reign. It doesn’t always make sense and I’ve often had to reevaluate and remember where and what I put my hope in. Hope involves trust and it is difficult to hope on things, situations or on people when we can’t trust them. They are all fallible.
Have you ever felt that you have lost all hope for something? Lost hope for a treasured dream or expectation of the way things will go. It hurts, and it’s a place where fear can reign. Where you feel as if nothing good will happen again. When all seems irretrievable, irreparable, lost. To be fully hopeless is a desperate situation, there comes a despair that kills our very soul. A darkness that claws at your soul. A lie that nothing will ever be good again. Loss of hope for a future that will be bearable. A loss of hope that questions your faith and makes you re work it from the ground up. To lose all hope feels like a kind of death – many dark nights for your soul. When we feel as if there is no hope, no future, we despair. If you are in this place my heart goes out to you and I can not say I know your unique situation, but know this, you are not alone and you are loved.
It says in the psalms that hope deferred makes the heart sick. The word hopeless in our daily language has become so common it has lost its potent, truly horrendous meaning. Hopeless is not something anyone wants to be.
But I believe there is a timeless hope. I have a hope for a future in heaven. At a point of broken dreams, there is also the chance for another new start, a hope for a future here and now. A hope that brings promise of a life lived in the way it was already planned out. There is now another clean slate and the chance to dream again, once the previous dream is grieved, or re-evaluated, re-born.
It is said that God put eternity in our hearts, we feel within us this longing for something else, a better world, without suffering and pain.
“For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven – God-made – not handmade – and we’ll never have to relocate our ‘tents’ again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move – and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The spirit of God whet’s our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.”
2 Corinthians 5:1 (MSG)
I dream again now, but maybe with a more open hand than before and always through the filter of the ultimate hope of heaven. I am tentatively, cautiously allowing myself to dream again because I know my soul needs to hope. To hope is to let go of our limited expectations and to swap them for a joyful expectation, an unknown daring expectation for that which is not known and can not be planned out and may even surprise us on this earth. To faithfully trust that with God, the path worked out for us is better than any we can imagine. Real hope is found in the one in whom we can put our trust, because he is faithful to his promises. I have a better, sure, steadfast, hope which is an anchor for my soul. My life may be a boat tossed about in the waves of this worlds troubles, but I am held, I will not be lost or sunk. I will stay secure in my everlasting, timeless hope.
We do not need to despair, our future is in the hands of God. I have hope for abundant life now and ever after, we have the hope that God is coming and all will be well. I have the hope of God with me in every moment. –
We have this hope as an anchor for our soul, and it is firm and secure.
Here are some beautiful words of hope from the bible.
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits and in his word I put my hope.
And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Romans 5 v 2-5
Hosea 2:15, Proverbs 13:12, Psalm 31:24, Psalm 33:20, Psalm 25:21, Psalm 62:5, Romans 12:12, Proverbs 23:18, Romans 15:13, Hebrews 10:23, Romans 5:5
Hope creative project
This creative project takes inspiration from the verse from Hebrews 6:19:
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”
Take a moment to breathe, slow your breathing and think on the word hope. What does it mean to you that Your hope is in Jesus? The creative project is to make holding pebbles that you can have in your pocket to remind you of your hope or just have in your home as visual reminder of your hope – which is an anchor for your soul and like a rock it is firm and secure.
Print out the photo below at the right size for your pebble and use as an anchor template. Place the anchor on your pebble and draw around it in pencil.
I drew the anchor in two ways:
- Using a paint pen, dot around the anchor outline and then increase a few times outwards.
2. Using your paint pen go over the pencil outline with the paint pen and then fill in the anchor with white dots.
For the word hope, write the word in script writing in pencil on the pebble first then go over with your paint pen.
You might want to include the verse reference Hebrews 6:19.
When the paint has dried spray the stone or rock with a clear sealer. Place the pebbles in a box to act as a spray booth.
I pray that this rock or pebble will remind you of the hope you have in Jesus, as you see it in your home. As you keep it in your pocket or on display, let it remind you that we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, and your hope in Jesus is firm and secure. He holds you safe.
For a little smile to add to your month, join in with the monthly giveaway, everyone on the list gets a chance to win a little gift from me, because we all get enough junk mail: