Hope. A confident expectation. Able to trust and believe even when we cannot see. Wanted. Desired. Needed.
No hope. Doubt. Questions. Concerns. Fears. Anger. Tears. Depression. Confusion. Embarrassment. Shame. Blame. Rejected. Unwanted.
Zophar talked with Job about the extremely valuable hope we can have in God:
You will surely forget your trouble,recalling it only as waters gone by.
Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning.
You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. – Job 11:16-18
What great promises! Hoping in God makes us more secure. We’ll be able to rest, forget our trouble, and life will be brighter.
When you meet people doubting, concerned, and fearful, are you ready to talk with them about this kind of hope? Will you be hopeful with them? For them?
On my recent overseas speaking trip, I was reminded God wastes nothing. It’s possible a life experience you’ve had is exactly what people need to hear about. Through it, their hope in God can increase. It could be why you’ve met.
Are you looking to offer hope? Are you ready? Approachable? Available? Offering true hope might be among our greatest privileges. It’s not hard. It is glorious.
By the end of the first night on my recent overseas trip, I knew God had introduced me to someone because there was a connection only He could have orchestrated. Within 24 hours, it happened again with someone they knew.
Not at all relevant to the reason I thought I was on the trip, what if it actually was the reason? God works. Moves. Arranges. Do we follow?
What I did wasn’t hard. I listened. I felt their feelings. I felt my feelings. I listened longer. Nodded. Welcomed details they needed to share. Smiled. Kept listening. Asked if there was more they wanted to share. Waited. Embraced the silence.
I did all of this before I offered ideas. I listened to understand. Then I talked. Shared. Asked. Cried. Touched. Embraced.
As we interacted over several days, I watched for opportunities to offer more hope. Relief. Assurance. Confidence. Joy.
I remained available for another conversation as some of the new ideas and perspective I shared sunk in.
To steward our life experiences so God is glorified and others benefit is a beautiful thing. Holy. Hope.
Tears shed with others can bring new healing and relief.
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. – Romans 12:15
Hope should be multiplied. It will be as you share yours.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. – Romans 12:12
Be mindful of who you meet. I doubt it’s ever by accident. They may be for you. You may be for them. Or you may be for each other.
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. – Romans 15:13