By Joan Gallagher, Contributing Writer
In the middle of struggle and difficulty “Hope” rises. We’ve heard that sentiment before haven’t we? Maybe not in those exact terms but to one degree or another. Hope is defined as, “A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.” The first thing I notice about this definition is that it doesn’t tell us what or who is the source of hope, where do we find it?
Hope is a powerful ally in the most trying circumstances and it keeps us anchored in the present when we are struggling. I relied on “Hope” myself when it just didn’t seem there was a way. Countless times “Hope” has helped me to hold on, to know God is there, he sees, he is working his plan; even if I couldn’t see farther than the next day ahead of me.
As a young believer in Jesus Christ as Savior I felt awkward opening a Bible. I never read it before and wondered how such an ancient book could relate to my modern life. My roommate, who led me to Jesus gave me a Bible and told me that all I had to do was ask God and he would show me what he wanted me to know in His relevant Word for my life. I opened the Bible and the first thing I ever read from scripture was Jeremiah 29:11-13, (By the way, I never knew Jeremiah was a book in the Bible.) “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, “plans to proper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all you heart.’”
I have to tell you, I was floored! How did God know? How did he know I felt like a failure, like just another inconsequential person in the mass of society? It was the first time I had felt “Hope” truly rise as an anchor for my life, something I could count on to know my future was safe in His hands.
I was initially afraid to hope in the promise that God had a plan and a future for me. I had struggled with most relationships in my life. Sin, pain, and hurt were familiar companions.
But life was different now. I had grabbed the hand of the Rescuer and He saved me for a future filled with His promises and life with Him. My future is secure with my Hope in His plan.
Our devotional reminds us, “No circumstance is too difficult for God to handle. There is nothing we’ve done wrong that He can’t make right. When we remember God’s past faithfulness, we can be reassured of His future provision” (Newspring Church). Hope is the deposit that insures us that God has a plan and future for us all.
Who is the source for “Hope” and where do we find it? True “Hope” comes from Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. It is found in a life that is filled to overflowing with the plans for a future that is soaked in the love and promise of the King.
My prayer this season is that you will wrap yourself in the loving words of Jeremiah 29:11-13 and hope in His future plans for you.
Joan writes for her blog, Women Mentoring Women
She is also a contributing writer at Sweet Jesus Ministries.
This article is part of the #RealHope blog series and Hope Is Holiday Devotional Study.
For information regarding our current and future studies, visit our Bible study page.