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Hope and Craigslist

There was an ad in the newspaper that read: “Hope chest: Brand new, half price, long story.” Hope is a funny thing. Charles Revson, the founder of the Revlon cosmetics company, once commented that what they really sold was hope. There’s hope in gyms and drug labs, dating sites and churches. It’s sold on Craigslist in everything from engagement rings and treadmills, to already too small new clothes, and brand new DVD sets of P90X. Count on this…hope may come and go, but God stays, all the time.

I bet there’s something (or someone) we’re all hoping for today. My 2 cents… “Never stop hoping, in God.” I’ve jokingly said, “God’s often late.” Obviously He’s not. We just seem to have our watches set to different times. Mine is set to Eastern time zone, and His…well let’s just say He probably doesn’t follow zones… or own a watch. I want something to happen now…but He sees the whole picture, and waits for the perfect time. What we see with earthly eyes is not the end of the story.

There was a fight recently on TV where in the last round, one guy was absolutely destroying the other guy, finally knocking him down just as the fight was ending. The bell rang, signaling the end. The judge grabbed the hands of both of the fighters and declared the winner. Oddly, the guy who was knocked down won the fight. I only saw one round, but I saw enough to know that he didn’t look like a winner.

But then, the announcer said something interesting:  “In boxing, you don’t have to win every round to win the fight.” Remember when God raised David’s hand in victory and gave him a champion’s declaration saying, “You, David, are a man after My own heart.” This is the same guy who murdered a good man and broke all Ten Commandments with one act of adultery. He probably couldn’t even get ministry credentials today!

Hope is the belief that God’s in control. It’s not a wish that things will get better, but an actual belief and TRUST, even when there may be no evidence that anything will change. As long as we’re alive, every breath is grace and every next breath, an opportunity for a miracle.

In Emily Dickinson’s “Hope is the Thing with Feathers,” she writes about hope as a bird that continues to sing despite not knowing the words, despite being stuck in a storm, despite the worst of conditions. Dickinson writes that the singing bird kept others warm, without asking for anything in return. When asked, a ten year old boy named Amal defined hope as, “God’s gift to us.” He’s right. And God’s gift of hope is a person: “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). No matter your situation right now, you and I can choose hope as a means of looking toward the future. “I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13 “Now we know that God works all things for good for those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. Don’t sell your hope chest yet. Chances are, no eye has seen, and no ear has heard the things God’s preparing for you in there.


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