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.

*Proverbs 13:12

Image:  Grandma's Garden by Robert Duncan

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Awesome. Hope and faith...and answered prayers! Praise God! I could use some answered prayer now for healing...bad flu. Blessings, Sharon D.

Deanna Rabe said...

I like this way of thinking, and the reminder of the importance to beinHis word, in prayer and listening to His voice.


Deanna

Vee said...

This post makes me smile because I am very happy for you to have had so many answered prayers in one week. Those answered prayers are going to get you through some times ahead when you remember that the same God Who answered these will also answer those.

mdoe37 said...

I wish I were with so much faith! Glad things came your way Brenda.

Anonymous said...

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1. Blessings:)

Anonymous said...

This post was very appropriate for the week my family had. Our beloved cat of 14+ years went for routine dental cleaning and suddenly died from oral cancer. It's been tough to keep the faith especially for our sons as Oreo was really their cat and certainly a part of the family. I will keep this post in my heart & mind in the days ahead.
Nancy

Mama Squirrel said...

I think that's why Christian has not one, but two good friends in Pilgrim's Progress: first Faithful, and then Hopeful.

Mama Squirrel said...

I think that's why Christian has not one but two good friends in Pilgrim's Progress: first Faithful, then Hopeful.

Kel said...

\0/ Praising The Lord with you!

Cheryl said...

Faith, hope, and love, these three......Praising God with you for answered prayer!

rebecca said...

Praising God WITH you - and ruminating on the relationship of hope and faith.....

Anonymous said...

So thankful for your answered prayers! That's Awesome! Appreciate your encouraging words, especially since my word for this year is "Hope". Saturday's post was good, too, with wise advice! This could be a very interesting year!
Blessings,
Laura C. (WA)

Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest said...

Oh, what apoignant and powerful message, dear friend.

I cannot tell you how glad I am of your happy tidings of answered prayer!

God's blessings again and again and again for you and your loved ones!

Hugs! ♥

Anonymous said...

Dear Brenda: God is so very good. Carol (MD)

Vanessa Howell said...

When you focus on being a blessing, God makes sure that you are always blessed in abundance.

Burt Princeton said...

I am amazed with your faith! Take this quotes..

God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas but for scars. ― Elbert Hubbard