Sunday, January 17, 2016
Sunday Afternoon Tea - Holding on to Hope
This past week, prayers were answered. Big prayers. The kind of prayers where I am certain angelic warfare had to take place in the heavenlies. Not just one or two but three or four big prayers were answered.
It was quite amazing.
I am well aware that God is constantly answering prayers and most often in ways I don't understand at the time. I can look back and see His hand at work but when walking through the valley... not so much.
So you can well imagine that a week where everything fell into place on our behalf... when a financial need was met... when the powers that be went to work on my behalf so I could keep my insurance... when there was a turn around in the health of a loved one... when a job came through for another. Beyond thankful.
There was, at one time, a teaching make its' way through the church that one should dismiss hope in favor of faith. That hope was the opposite of faith. At first I believed it. Of course it sounded logical that faith was real and hope was not. Makes sense to this earth bound brain.
But then real life continued to occur and God showed me that faith is not superior to hope. There is a reason He talks about both in His Word. Faith and Hope are both different and the same. They help each other and carry us through this fallen world.
I came to see it this way... faith is the action and hope is the feeling.
Sometimes hope is all we have. Especially when we are in the middle of the valley and no light is making its' way through. Much like we know the sun is shining above the clouds even though a storm is raging outside, hope tells us there is light in the valley even when we cannot see it... yet. Hope is what keeps us going when we know the Scriptures but real life says otherwise.
Some time ago, Hope was my Word for the Year not once but two years in a row. Hope was still very much needed as I came to the end of one year... so, well... let's keep it front and center for another year. I needed the courage that hope brought at the time. I still do come to think of it. Every. Single. Day.
So if you are feeling discouraged and weary and distraught and thinking you will never see the answer to prayer... keep the faith but don't lose the hope. Read the Word for it is our spiritual food that makes us strong (I daily remind myself of this Truth when I put reading it low on the To Do list). Talk to Him. Listen.
I can assure you, if "hope deferred makes the heart sick"*, then multiple answers to prayer leaves one delightfully befuddled and thankful and joyful and amazed at the awesomeness of our God.
Image: Grandma's Garden by Robert Duncan