Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hope


There exists such a fine line between contentment and expectancy with God.  How do we know what to do with our desires and dreams.  They don't always happen.  Sometimes they do.  How do we walk out our faith in this area?

On the one end of the spectrum you have hearing a word from God and holding Him to it.  Here is where Abraham dwells; the man who was told he would be father of nations and then believed that God would accomplish it.  Note that here, a specific word from God is given.  There have been times in the past, and I’m sure there will be in the future, where God has spoken a word to me of something specific.  Here faith in what is promised is played out. 
On the other end of the spectrum is where we conform God to our will.  Often times, without even realizing it.  Unconsciously (or maybe even consciously sometimes) we say to ourselves, “If God was really a loving and caring God, he would give me ______”.  He would give me a husband.  A baby.  A house.  That job.  That ministry opportunity.  That restored relationship.  A lot of times it’s not a bad thing we are wanting.  It’s things that are good and that reflect God’s heart.  But it’s not OK to make up our minds what we want and then attach God to it, unless of course He has given us a clear word of promise (as Abraham in the example above). 

 Many a Pinterest pin speaks of Luke 1:45 "Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord."  You have to be careful here though, because Mary was told something specific from God.  And while that Scripture-turned-Pinterest-quote may fill you with warm fuzzies that God is going to give you your every desire if you just trust Him, that's just simply not true. 

On the one hand:  audacious and expectant faith that God will do what he has specifically promised.

On the other: taking what is good that we want and demanding God give it to us in order to keep his reputation

In the middle of this, is hope.

Because a lot of times, God doesn’t give us a specific word of promise about things. 

And so we are left with things that we want; things that are good and life giving.  And we are left with the character of God, but not the predictability of God that we so often crave.  Oh, He is a wind.  You can chase Him, and you should, but you cannot pin Him down.  Chasing him isn’t half the fun; it’s all of it.  So we move with the wind as it blows where it wills.  God is always found yet always elusive.  If you were to describe God in one word it would be: indescribable.

Hope is the anchor for the soul the Bible tells us (Hebrews 6:19).  In this specific case of Scripture it is talking specifically about the hope of salvation, but I think we can apply the metaphor to hope in general.  Hope that the thing we want will be given, and if it’s not, that a better thing awaits us.  Hope for what we want; that it would please God to give it to us, and that we would please Him with how we use it. 

When we have nothing, we have who God says He is.  And we have hope.  And always, always, the wind.

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