That’s where I’m at right now. Not a great moment when your passion is unconditional hope for every life because of who Jesus is and what Jesus has done.
And yet, I don’t think this is a coincidence that I’m at this juncture at this moment in time.
With all the tragedy transpiring across the globe, I’m thinking there are many who think it is pretty stupid to hope, while at the same time desperately wanting that assumption to be wrong.
What’s your weak point the enemy comes after to try to tell you it’s just stupid to hope; to tell you, you’re only setting yourself up for hurt and disappointment? Is it world events, 24/7 news channels, finances, relationships, the loss of a loved one, shattered dreams, something else?
For me, what has brought me to this particular moment is my health. That’s where the enemy hits me repeatedly and tries to tell me it’s hopeless. (1 Peter 5:8-9). My words to my husband last night were I am doing everything I know to do to be well and I am failing miserably (yes, I was thinking maybe I should just give up). His response stopped me in my tracks “there you go, blaming yourself again …” He continued on to point out so many factors impacting me that are completely out of my control or realm of responsibility. Then he shared that, even though he too is discouraged I’m struggling with my health, his perspective is that I am doing amazingly well with ALL things considered.
I had to chew on that a little. Our perspectives were definitely shall I say … opposite 😉 .
Here’s what I found while I was “chewing”:
28 Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. 29 For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. (Philippians 1:28-29, NLT)
Say what? I was thinking I should have stopped at verse 28. The privilege of suffering for him? Can I just say that privilege and suffering are not 2 words I would link together. That told me I was missing something. I went to my dictionary and found this definition of suffering “
That would tell me I have a choice in this matter. But a choice about what?
A choice about how vulnerable I will allow myself to be to God. An answer He had provided to me just moments before as I read Philippians 1:9 in The Passion Translation:
I continue to pray for your love to grow and increase more and more until it overflows, bringing you into the rich revelation of spiritual insight in all things. And with this revelation you will come to know God fully as he imparts to you the deepest understanding of his ways.
The revelation I journaled as I read verse nine is:
Is it possible that revelation is a fruit of the gift of divine love growing in me?
What I’m seeing is, as I surrender more and more of me/my heart
to be inhabited by Jesus, love incarnate,
what is born of that intimacy
is deeper and deeper revelation
of who God, my Heavenly Father and Creator of All, truly is.
Revelation involves receiving;
receiving involves trust to receive what before has been unknown, unseen.
Would it even be possible to allow oneself to be in that vulnerable position without love?
I think not. Amazing!
Here’s the deal … you’re not actually protecting yourself by choosing not to hope – although our enemy would try to tell you that’s exactly what you are doing. But then, he is a liar (John 8:44) and a thief (John 10:10).
My choice is to put myself in the vulnerable position to receive what I have not yet seen, heard or imagined but that God has for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9-10). Why? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Uhhhh, yeah.
Earlier this week, my Heavenly Father provided this sunrise to encourage me with the thought that no matter what darkness I face, He is in the business of creating light that destroys and cannot be quenched by the darkness … and He just keeps doing it over and over and over again … telling me it really is NOT a stupid choice to hope 🙂 .