Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hope Hope Hope

I'm all for working for things. I'm a goal-setter and a hard worker. Ah, but that's not really so noble, since I work like that with the expectation that I'll reap a reward. And let's be honest. I work hard because I want to get to the reward as fast as possible.

Unfortunately, there's a lot that goes into the rewards of life that has little to do with how hard we're trying; no matter how much we want something or how much work we do to get it, we will not get it before God gives it to us. I'm learning that I often have to wait for rewards much longer than I think I should.

But wait.


How about calling them blessings, since really, in the grand scheme of things, I'm a sinner who deserves only one reward: Hell.

Lately, I've been trying to apply Psalm 62:5-7 to my life. There, David writes, "For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God." (ESV)

I'm supposed to wait for God. For God only. Does that mean I can't hope for things? No. The psalmist is hoping for things, but he knows he must wait for God to bring them to pass. And is God cruel with our dreams? Does he crush our hopes?

He certainly molds them through a long process that, at times, seems like crushing. Romans 5:3-4 says "Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." (ESV).

Hm. The kind of hope that doesn't get disappointed (as the NLT puts it), is the kind that comes after the suffering. The kind of hope we start off with before our suffering - before those trials and long waits - is not the kind of hope God wants for us. That's the wild-eyed, entitled sort of hope that expects a reward. But after the suffering, a new kind of hope develops, one that's backed by God's Spirit in our hearts, and that's when dreams start to come true.

In my own life, I've found that it may take years longer than I expect, but if I persevere, wait on God, and don't give up hope, one day, I get to look up from my work to find blessings enfolding me. 

What are you hoping for?

Your Sister

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