Doing my “monthly recap of the movement of God,” I noticed a trend between February and March. . .
I think this is one of those I-grew-up-in-the-church-and-I’m-pretty-sure-“hope”-was-one-of-my-first-words kind of things. We’ve become numb to the true reality and necessity of what hope is, and the actual depravity of those living in hopelessness.
Feeling like I was in a desert at the beginning of the semester conjured up feelings of hopelessness. Not in a depressed way, not even in a doubting God way. This “hopelessness” was something akin to exhaustion. I was tired of fighting of what seemed to be a losing battle with Satan, for myself, my body, my family, my friends, this campus, my church. And one night in the prayer chapel, the Lord graciously took the scales off my eyes to see what hopelessness I’d been living in and the lie that it is:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:3-9
The Enemy was right – I was tired and I can’t always fight well. But, that’s bad news for him. Because when I can’t fight, a much more powerful and worthy Person does. One who is already victorious. We know the end of the story and Jesus is the one in glory and honor. So I am not allowed to pray defeated prayers. I am not allowed to live without hope.
In Jeremiah 2 it says: “but you said, ‘it is hopeless! No, for I have loved strangers, and after them I will walk. . .”
How many people do I know living this way? A state of hopelessness, pursuing the idols and strangers of the flesh. We are called to be broken for them, to love them, to intercede for them – but in the midst of that, we can’t lose sight of the victory we have be given. What good is it to pray for hopeless people if we are not living in true hope ourselves?
I’ve had so much joy recently, since realizing and living in the victory of who Christ was, is, and is to come. I cling to the glorious promise of Revelation 19-21. I rest on the call to be:”joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12
Joyful in hope. Faithful in prayer.
Because when I have hope in the work and person of Jesus, His joy surrounds my life. And when His joy surrounds my life, I can pray for those who aren’t living in hope, who are believing lies, or living in defeat. I pray for the impossible without discouragement because of hope. Because what is hope if it is not in the impossible?
“For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” Romans 8:24-25
Hope seems to be something the Lord is laying on the hearts of a lot of people. It’s a difficult thing to articulate because it is common “churchy” vernacular. But this isn’t about reciting well-known verses about what we think we understand about hope. This is about Jesus actually opening the eyes of our hearts to the necessity of hope. Its necessity in prayer. Its necessity for living. Its necessity for joy and patience. Its necessity for the movement of God in the impossible.
We have to be a people living in victory, so we can believe for the impossible in a world that isn’t. We have to be a people of hope.