It's the first Saturday of the month, so it's time for a message of hope! You're stuck with me today as I wasn't quite organised enough to sort a guest writer. Although it wasn't my intention, I'm pleased that the task of writing about this verse has fallen to me.
I find hope a tricky topic.
I'm okay with faith, but hope is a struggle.
For me, faith knows that God has everything in His hands. We then rest in that security even in the darkest times. On the other hand, hope believes those times will change, that prayers will be answered and difficult seasons will come to an end. Hope is looking up from the situation you're in and daring yourself to see a future where God's promises are fulfilled.
I find hope the most challenging when the storm has passed and the possibility of life returning to normal is just beginning. We're at that stage in the pandemic. There is hope for gatherings with friends and family, vaccinations for all, new job prospects, and days in the sun (that's for all of you who like the Summer!) There is hope, and it's exciting and terrifying all at the same time. As the storm clouds pass, we get to take stock of what has been left behind and what needs to be rebuilt. It impacts us personally as we deal with the aftermath of a virus that has affected every aspect of our lives. It also impacts our church as we scan the landscape and dare to hope for what God has in store. We may feel uncertain about the future, but there is hope.
"Hope is the melody of the future. Faith is dancing to the melody right now."
Jim Cress - Forgiving What You Can't Forget
I turn forty-five this month, and so much has changed since my last birthday. I know God has amazing plans for my family and me (as he does for us all), but they're not quite here yet. Like many of you, I can hear the beautiful melody of hope in the distance, but I've hardly dared to listen, just in case it stays out of reach. As I move into my forty-sixth year on this earth, I think I may have found the perfect Scripture verse.
"As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more."
Whether we're waiting for the storm to pass or struggling to see what our future will look like, we can always have hope, and we can choose to praise no matter what the circumstances. On that note, here's my go-to song of praise. The dance of faith is always easier when this song is filling the house.
"There is no other; You are forever
There's nobody like You, no one beside You
Let endless praise resound
Every night and day and with no delay
Let endless praise resound."
Hunt Jonathan David / Harrison Andy