a love note on my coffee mug from my husband
Living with loss and enduring grief makes me feel like quitting nearly every day. I often push myself to do things – to be with people when my heart wants to shut down, to attend activities, to live un-anesthetized (by the abuse of meds, food, alcohol or shopping) and to continue pursuing my dreams.
Living with loss has sanded my heart to a finer sensitivity for beauty in the moment – the ivory petals of a gardenia against green leaves, the fragrance of magnolia blossoms on the breeze when I’m out for a run, a morning’s perfect cup of coffee, and a thousand thoughtful ways my husband proves his love.
While daily I live with loss I do not live without hope. As hard as it is to live with loss, it would be tragic to live without hope.
Hope is Holy.
My hope is found in Christ. It exists because of his life, death, and resurrection. It is a holy matter for it is the outcome of our faith.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for…”
The Greek word translated “substance” literally means a “standing under” and was used by Paul (Hebrews 11:1) in the technical sense of a “title deed.” Therefore my hope is because my faith is. I live each day in faith looking forward to those things I hope for.
Hope is a present reality.
My hope is based on the reality of Christ because my faith is founded on and in Him. I live in faith today because of the hope I have for tomorrow. Yet I must, as A.W. Tozer writes, “avoid the common fault of pushing the other world into the future. It is not future, but present. It parallels our familiar physical world, and the doors between the two worlds are open.”
This means that even on the days that my emotions tug at me to retreat, to disengage…to quit, my faith is the spark that ignites hope. And in a way I don’t fully understand, when I surrender to the presence of God in me (the Holy Spirit), He, the God of hope, fills me with all joy and peace in believing that I may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13 NKJV).
Though we may be tempted in our loss, grief, disappointment, depression, doubt or confusion to relinquish in this very real battle of the spirit pressing against the confines of the temporal, it is the Holy Spirit that supplies us with hope.
There are three things I know firsthand about hope.
- Hope can keep you going when you have nothing much left. Hope is the Divine Breath of God alive in you! As long as He lives in you, hope is alive.
- Hope is not in short supply. You never have to run out of hope though you may hope for something new. For to abound speaks of a copious amount of a thing!
- Hope is holy. Hope is a spiritual possession. You cannot see it, yet it’s obvious when you have it.
“Faith is the present possession of grace while hope is confidence in grace’s future accomplishment.” *
On days I feel like quitting, I remember what God has already done for me and I press on.
On days I feel like quitting, I remind myself my hope is in the Lord and as long as He lives in me, hope is alive.
On days I feel like quitting I realize it may not be easy to keep going, but it’s possible with God.
It would be easy to give in…to quit. To say, “I’m done.” But faith won’t let me give up on hope, for at the intersection of faith and hope, there is grace. And grace is a sufficient strength to bear up, to keep going, to not quit even when I feel like quitting.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV).
So friend, let’s stay in it. Let’s live by faith with hope in grace. We can do it. I expect the Lord will help us all the way!
“Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord” (Psalm 27:14 Amplified Bible).
* (source unknown)