Hope for the Holidays by Lynn Marie Cherry
They say you can live 40 days without food, 4 days without water, 4 minutes without oxygen but only 4 seconds without hope. Hope is essential to our existence and yet it can be hard to put our finger on. I think part of the reason hope is difficult to define is that we use the word as both a noun and a verb.
We lean toward thinking of hope as a noun, something we have or don’t have. I’d like to suggest a shift. This holidays season, try thinking about hope as a verb, an action, a choice that is within your power.
If hope is a verb, what does hope do?
Prayer at its foundation is saying there is something in my life I can’t handle, but I’m choosing to believe it’s not too much for God. Hope invites the supernatural into the circumstances of our lives.
From the depths of despair, O Lord, I call for your help. Hear my cry, O Lord. Pay attention to my prayer. Psalm 130:1-2
Waiting on the Lord is not like standing in line. The Hebrew word for wait is qavah, which literally means to twist together as in making a rope. Hope takes the single strand of my own strength and weaves it together with God’s power and promises.
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5
In the dead of night, hope believes the sun will rise and morning will come. We tend to paint one picture of what a happy life looks like. When your Plan A is crushed, remember God always has a good plan. Keep this metaphor in mind. Depending on your location, surroundings or angle of observation, the same sun rising on the same day in the same city presents itself in a thousand beautiful ways.
I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning Psalm 130:6
God sees everything in our lives through the lens of redemption. He sees our loss, pain and heartache, but he doesn’t diminish our suffering. He knows he can redeem it. He is our Redeemer.
hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is unfailing love. His redemption overflows. Psalm 130:7
That very first Christmas when Simeon held Jesus in his arms he knew by the Holy Spirit this tiny, fragile infant was God’s redemption plan. The children of Israel were hoping for a deliverer, someone to annihilate their Roman oppressors. Simeon says, “My eyes have seen your salvation…a light for revelation to the Gentiles. (Luke 2:30,32) Simeon saw God’s surprising, overflowing redemption. Jesus hadn’t come to destroy their enemies; he came to save them too!
This is my prayer this holiday season: "Lord, let me see everything in my life through the lens of overflowing redemption. Remind me that hope is a verb. Hope prays. Hope waits. Hope believes. Hope sees."
Lynn Marie Cherry is an engaging speaker and the author of Keep Walking: 40 Days to Hope and Freedom after Betrayal an award winning daily devotional that helps women find a way through the pain and trauma of betrayal. After experiencing the detrimental effects of sexual addiction in her marriage, Lynn determined to inspire hope in others and shine a light on the path to freedom. Lynn and her husband David have been married for 26 years. They have two boys. You can connect with her at lynnmariecherry.com.