Hope the Four Letter Word

Is there really hope found in Christ? Years ago someone told me that hope was an awful word. I can’t recall his words exactly, but suffice it to say, hope wasn’t something he believed in and wanted nothing to do with. As we sat, eating lunch together, we talked of other things but I remained silent and said nothing to refute the statement he made. I’ve thought a lot about that conversation over the ensuing years. How could I have responded? What should I have said? What would you have said?Have you lost your hope? Do you look at the tumultuous waves that boil around you and sink into a pit of despair? Have you prayed in earnest, only to have those prayers go seemingly unheard and unanswered?

Here’s another story. Years ago I remember crying out to God, asking Him to take my addiction from me. I pleaded, “I know you’re able to do this, I know you can deliver me from this”. I poured out my heart in a tear filled cry to God because I knew that God, in His power, could deliver me from this awful snare in which I was bound. However, what God could have done instantly by His power, in His wisdom, chose to do something different. God chose to take me on a journey of recovery, one that I needed to go on. This journey would take years and involve a wife who didn’t know all there was to ‘know’ about me when she said; “I do”. This was a road I had to travel in order to learn about the One on whom I needed to depend.

During my journey I learned that God does care for me, that He is interested in me, and that He really does love me, in spite of all I have done. I’ve learned that His love for me doesn’t wain when I mess up, when I’m short tempered or fall back into an old habit. I’ve learned He doesn’t wink at sin and disciplines me out of His love for me, just as I do my own kids. I also learned that He loved me first, before I knew Him. Through all of this I’ve learned what hope is, what grace is and how much God truly cares for the broken and down trodden. God deeply and genuinely cares for each and every aspect of our lives.

It doesn’t matter what you face, how troubled your marriage, or how far astray your kids have gone. Do you struggle with addiction, fear, depression, anger, guilt or unbelief? There is no wound so raw, no heart so broken, or a hole so deep that the love of Jesus cannot go deeper still. There is hope and it’s not a four letter word. It’s actually a five letter name – Jesus.

Recently, I came across this statement: “My experience trumps your argument”. So, in my experience, hope is a marvelous thing, despite what men may say. No matter what you face today or the trying circumstances you find yourself in, Jesus is hope. In Him there is no darkness (1 John 1:5), in Him there is peace (Colossians 3:15, Philippians 4:7) and in knowing Him, you can find the peace you’re searching for.

I’ll end with Ephesians 3:18-20, which says: And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

~ Brad

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