A good friend gave us this ornament in 2020… the year that will forever be remembered as the year the world screeched to a halt because of COVID. I’m SO grateful those days are now behind us — a surreal time in which new words (at least to our experience until then) wormed their way into our everyday vocabulary, words like pandemic, lockdown, curfew, quarantine, flattening the curve, social distancing, new normal.
Now, as another year dawns upon us, the word on this ornament — HOPE — is something that I seem to keep running across during my daily times of reading God’s Word. Hmm… when this happens, I’m learning to pay attention, to consider that maybe this is important! That maybe God is wanting me to learn something…
Biblical hope is based on a person… not on our circumstances, not on other people, not on optimism, not on any effort we can conjure up. It is a state of anticipation that incorporates the idea of waiting for something, of eager anticipation. It means “trusting in God’s character and choosing hope despite our circumstances.” *
Hope based on something — on someone — other than myself is so freeing! God’s past faithfulness is what makes it possible for me to have hope for today and hope for the future.
The biblical authors talk about HOPE in various ways:
HOPE that gets me through the hard things in life, the suffering; HOPE that is an anchor in the midst of whatever I’m going through; HOPE that isn’t based on what I see or feel or experience but rather on a person… this is the kind of HOPE I need to cling to as 2023 unfolds. It’s also a HOPE that has things to look forward to, that fulfills longings.
Whatever your heart may be yearning for in this New Year, may the HOPE that is found in God be what enables you to not only persevere, but also to have joy in the journey of this thing called “Life!“
*Some of these thoughts are taken from the Bible Project video “Hope” (see below). If you are not familiar with this resource, be sure to check it out — it’s a gem!