H is for HOPE
" Hope that does not disappoint us" is what the Bible talks about when it talks about hope ( Romans 5)
How often have you been disappointed by something you have hoped for? Maybe that disappointment is related to unanswered prayer . Sometimes what we call hope is a long way from the sort of hope the Bibles offers.
In Romans the hope we need is grown in the soil of suffering and hardship... not sure I want that sort of hope ! But I suppose that is exactly what happened for me during that time of breakdown years ago. Within the despair , hope emerged. Have you experienced this ? Do you have stories or hope that grew in hard times ?
If ever there was a time for hope it is now. We can feel like everything is bit hopeless when we look at the news right now . But what if we are not just hoping things get better or hoping in a way that is a little like keeping our fingers crossed. What if there is a HOPE that exists already . A bit like wellbeing or shalom. I often say that wellbeing is not a feeling but it already exists and we get to tap into it through prayer and daily habits by the Holy Spirit.
So with hope ... it is a gift from God. He gives us hope, have a read through the book of Romans and highlight wherever it talks about hope and why . This is good news in a bad news world . Hope is not just for when we die .. it is here and now hope.
It is in some ways hard to understand too. In the chapter in the A-Z I talk about my friend Louise Blyth and her book "Hope is Coming"( Hodder and Stoughton) . Take a read . It is remarkable. Despite loss and suffering she finds life changing hope. She doesn't get the miracle she asked for .. but she does get new life and new hope.
Chat with others about what hope means for you and stories of when you felt hope rising in you .
May He fill you with all HOPE ... He is the God of all HOPE ( Romans 13)