And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts.... Romans 5:5
Visiting my sister's church last night, the worship team sang an unfamiliar chorus. Although I did not know the song, I did know the message. The song's message was about hope: "Let hope swell in our lives." Hope. It is the reason I get out of bed each morning. In fact, hope is the reason you got out of bed and are reading this blog entry. We all cling to the belief that in the midst of life's greatest challenges and trials, we can find a nugget of truth that will move us forward to the next step in our lives. Hope is why we write and contemplate resolutions each new year. We are hopeful that our intentions will produce fruitful outcomes. Hope allows us to believe that the sins we committed in 2011 will become the triumphs of 2012. Hope-Hearts Open to Promise. But what happens when the challenges we face do not fade, and the trial we are in becomes more heated? What do we do when the kindness we resolved to display backfires and we find ourselves standing in the pool of someone's anger? What if the body we resolved to morph into a sculpted masterpiece remains unchanged? What happens when loss enters our comfort zone, or the expectations we place on life changes and we find ourselves standing in the midst of a deep, dark valley? Do we then throw our hands up and forget that it was Hope that opened our hearts up to promise? If hope is going to "swell up in our lives", then we need to live saturated. We need to let hope drive all doubt away. Hope reminds me that when I sin there is forgiveness (1 John 1:9). And that I awake to brokenness each morning, but that I serve a God who promises to make all things new (Revelation 21:1-6). Hope reminds me that when I break my resolutions and promises, that He, God, is faithful and will never Give up on me (1 Cor. 1:9 MSG). Hope reminds me the "I am fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14) when others punctuate my imperfections. Hope allows me to see a Shepherd, Christ, who leaves the entire flock to search for me when I have lost my way, and promises abundant life in Him (John 10). I can live in the reality of this sin stained, broken world, because God's love is poured out over me and He gives me Hope. I awoke this morning to a God that has promised that His "compassions never fail, [because] they are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). This is why I can get out of bed each day and know that my God is faithful to restore my brokenness and sin through His love and Son Jesus Christ. To live saturated is to live with Hope. When I allow Hope to pour over my soul, then there is no room for anything to compete. Today, let the promises of God saturate your heart and mind and restore your soul.