"Don't jinx it," I say to myself, "Don't get your hopes up. Don't think about it too much. Don't plan on it happening because then it won't happen." I find that when it comes to hope, my hopes range wildly between incredibly naively high to buried so low that they're practically non-existent. I have such a hard time finding an appropriate balance of hoping.
I get it. The happy-go-lucky posts might get more views. The fluffy, easy posts might garner more likes. But oftentimes the happy and the fluffy are masking what's really going on. And when it comes down to it, I'm not really sure that's what people actually want to read.
As I consider my own treasured desires and dreams, my heart longs for God to tell me that I can keep them. That I can wrap them up in my hands and hold them tightly. That I can count on the assurance that these hopes will come to pass, that these gifts will stay in my hands forever…
But is that ever promised?
Has God promised to keep me safe? To keep my reputation clear and untarnished? Has he promised me children and a home and financial stability? To make my hopes and dreams come to fruition?
I never really thought of myself as an independent person.
I've always been fairly introverted, yes, and have learned [aka been forced] to step out on my own quite a few times, but I never really knew how much I craved independence and freedom.
Until I got married.
I know this is a topic that we don't really talk about. It's a topic that I, even though I have been a regular church-goer for all 26 years of my life, didn't hear mentioned in the church even once until a few years ago. It seems that in most churches, sexual sin is considered one of the "darker" or "worse" sins, so we don't talk about it, we keep it in the dark.
But I'm going to talk about it here because I believe that Satan works in the darkness.
Do you ever have those days when everything seems to be crumbling? When things are just falling apart left and right and you don’t have the strength to hold it together anymore? When it seems like everything is just too much and you want to give up?
Hope in God. David proclaims what I would do well to remember – that even if everything around me gives way, even if evil and darkness rule my life, there is still hope because God is unchangeable and steady and unshakeable, “His grace is the ground for unshaken hope” (Spurgeon).
Even if you are in a place where you don’t feel God’s love, it does not mean that He is not present. Even if the darkness does not lift, “the darkness is not dark to him” and there is still hope.
I've examined my life more deeply, I've realized that sometimes the way I live and the things I feel don't necessarily line up with the things I say I believe to be true about God. The fear and guilt and insecurity and doubt that are almost daily present in my life reveal to me that I am not always believing.
...regardless of what is happening in my life [or my feeling that nothing is happening in my life], God is still on His throne.
So even when I don’t know what is ahead I can rest in his sovereignty, cling to His character, and walk daily in obedience. I can stop seeking for direction or clarity and start seeking to live a life of abandon right where I am to the glory of God.
I can find rest in who God is...
Saving grace: ascribed to God, grace is his voluntary, unrestrained, unmerited favor toward guilty sinners, granting them justification and life instead of the penalty of death, which they deserve
Reading through this definition I am overwhelmed and humbled.
Grace. Without restraint. Grace. Excessive and Abundant. Grace. Life and hope offered to vile and wretched sinners.