“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the HOPE to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people.” (Eph.1:18)
HOPE, according to Webster’s: 1. To desire with expectation of obtainment or fulfillment 2. To expect with confidence 3. To cherish a desire with anticipation; to want something to happen or be true.
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.
I have been thinking about hope. Like when a little kid says, “I hope Santa brings me a new bike.” I think oftentimes, hoping is perceived as a dreamy, fleeting, perhaps unrealistic wish. I think hope gets a bad rap in some ways; we wish, we dream, we want to escape the reality of the hardships we face. We just hope, just wish, that one day things will be better. But most of the time, they don’t get better, or a new challenge comes along to replace the previous one. Life is a struggle, that is a guarantee.
As a little girl, I used to wish that I would someday live in a big house with a “fairytale prince husband” and 2.5 beautiful, healthy perfect children. I used to wish I could go to faraway lands and see exotic sights. My son hopes to play professional lacrosse someday. There is nothing wrong with these hopes, and they can come true. I do live in a nice-sized house, with a great hubby and three awesome children. But the reality is that sometimes it’s hard to pay the heating bill for this big house, and it’s a big chore to keep it clean (it’s not clean, gave that up), my husband and I fight, and my kids have their struggles.
I would like to propose that hope is much stronger than that flighty, “pipe-dreamy”, unrealistic wish definition. It is actually gritty and determined. I would like to go to Webster’s and take notice of some of the words the dictionary uses to describe hope. Expectation of obtainment. Fulfillment. Expect with confidence. Cherish with anticipation. Those words are confident, and sure, and filled with promise.
For me, to believe in a God who knows me, knows my past, present and future, and who knows best what I need is reassuring and builds my confidence. In my heart and in my mind, He knows my weaknesses and fears. He knows far better than I do what I should be hoping in. And He provides the promise that I can confidently EXPECT Him to come through with what is best for me. (There’s my word of the year again! Expectation.)
To learn about what God says about me, that I am His child, that I am created for a purpose, that I am worthy of unconditional love and acceptance....all of these things reassure me that He is after goodness for me, even if that goodness may not look the way I might expect it to. So, through every challenge or hurdle, I need to choose to put my hope in Him and His promises.
I love the words from Ephesians 1:18, that say, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened”....the eyes of my heart....that’s kind of like that “dreamy” thinking that kids do....they dream with their hearts, not with the reality of hard things in front of them, they dream beyond what might seem possible. The scripture goes on to say, “that you may know the HOPE to which He has called you”, reassuring that there is real hope in believing in His calling and purpose for each of us, even through the hard. And finally, the words say, “the riches of His glorious inheritance”. We can EXPECT an inheritance from God. It may not be as we “hope” in our human ways, but an inheritance from a God who knows us better than we know ourselves, is a promise I want to believe and invest in.
So, as we accept finite disappointments in life, as Dr. King said, let’s never lose INFINITE HOPE. Infinite hope shows us there is always something more. Infinite hope says there is something beyond what we see right in front of us. Infinite hope is the type that is promised by God, that He can turn all things into good, even the hardest of hard, if we live our lives looking at Him, believing in Him, and allowing the eyes of our hearts to be enlightened toward a hope that is gritty, real and full of expectation.
Be blessed today, ladies, no matter what you may be facing.