Truth Tuesday – Dare to Hope
During the month of January each year, I like to look back on the past year and reflect on all that the previous year entailed. 2016 was not an easy year for our family. Here is a brief recap:
- In February, my mom broke her hip and was in rehab for several months, living in a nursing rehab home. She then came home to several months of out-patient rehabilitation. She required almost daily care from me.
- In March, my husband’s father passed away. On the day before we got on the plane to travel to Florida for the funeral, my husband received word very unexpectedly that his employer reorganized the company, letting several Directors go, one of which was my husband. We flew to Florida in grief and broken disbelief.
- Returning from the funeral, I had to continue taking care of my mom, but also had to increase my flexible hours as a nurse for 2 months until my husband received another job.
- During the spring through early fall one of our daughter-in-law’s experienced a difficult pregnancy.
- From September through early December, one of our children went through 3 major brain surgeries and another child had to have an emergency appendectomy.
- In mid December, my mom fractured two vertebrae in her spine and had to undergo surgery. She continues to need ongoing physical therapy and has my schedule overflowing again with meeting her needs.
As I thought about the difficulties of the past year, I remembered the many nights where I cried myself to sleep. I also remembered the days that I felt incredibly weary and drained at times. But I was also able to recall all God had taught me throughout the journey He allowed me to be on for twelve months in 2016.
At the very start of last year, and before any of the above incidents occurred, God impressed on my heart that He wanted me to make my word for the year to be – HOPE. Throughout the year, I paid close attention to when I heard the word hope mentioned in sermons, bible verses, songs, etc.
On one particular day, I was reading Lamentations and the word hope caught my attention. God showed me something that day, which is so important when we face times of difficulty.
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him;
it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
These verses were written by the prophet Jeremiah. His grief ran deep. The people of Israel had rejected God – the God who had made them, loved them, and sought repeatedly to bless them. Jeremiah’s heart broke because he knew that the selfishness and sinfulness of the people would bring them much suffering and an extended exile. Lamentations 2:11 tells us that this weeping prophet cried until no more tears would come.
As I read Lamentations, I noted that in Lamentations 2, Jeremiah is distraught and crying, but in Lamentations 3:21-26, you can hear the expressions in Jeremiah’s voce change from lament to optimism. As I thought about what must have brought about the change, I noticed that Jeremiah remembered something…something which changed his perspective of his present situation. This is what he remembered and was the key to elevating him from the pit of despair to a place of expectancy and hope:
- God’s unfailing love and compassion for him.
- God’s new mercies that were given daily to him.
- God’s never ending faithfulness toward him.
- God’s inheritance due him.
I certainly longed for the circumstances I was facing to be different. There were many times that I felt weary, fearful, angry, doubtful, and broken. But then I remembered God’s faithful promises to me and my hope was renewed. How about you today…are you in need of hope? Are you facing some difficulties that are breaking your heart or causing you to feel hopeless? I pray today as you read this that you will take time to remember God’s faithfulness, love and mercies that are His never-ending, bountiful grace gifts to you. Remember and dare to hope. As you do, God will fill you with overflowing hope and peace.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him,
so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Here are some other verses that were helpful to me this year and included the word “hope”.