Happy are those whom you choose and bring near
to live in your courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
your holy temple.
By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance,
O God of our salvation;
you are the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas.
By your strength you established the mountains;
you are girded with might. ~ Psalm 65:4-6
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. ~ Romans 5:1-5
Hope is the only thing stronger than fear. ~ Robert Ludlum
Hope is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all! ~ Emily Dickenson
Hope is hard. Sometimes it is excruciatingly hard. Sometimes the darkness feels so threatening that hope seems like a fleeing, invisible thing. Like trying to catch feathers in the wind. Hope takes courage. And because it takes courage, we are so very strong when we allow that hope to nudge us toward the light, even when all we see around us is night. Hope is perseverance in the face of what seems like lunacy. Hope is laughing in the face of a certainty that isn't certain at all. We stumble and we get up again as we look ahead and see a sliver of light in the distance. It may be faint. But as we keep moving toward it, hope - so strong and mighty - will open our eyes and heart to possibilities that we never imagined. Hope is hard. But it is also strong. And you are strong. Often stronger than you give yourself credit for.
Hope does not disappoint. Grant me courage to rest in that even when the darkness threatens to overcome. Amen.