Success. Personal, physical, and professional success…my livelihood, passion, dedication, talent, and identity. I was losing it… all of it.

I was a wife and mom, working full time and attending night classes four days a week. I knew what I wanted and thrived as a student graduating top of my class. Within a week, I started working at a local clinic that recruited me while I was a student, and within six months, I bought the practice from the owner, hired more staff, and continued to build a very successful therapeutic massage practice for the next 10 years. I also served in the church choir, a weekly women’s group, and at one point, lead a team of 23 adults for a month long short-term mission trip to Mozambique, Africa.

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? But I experienced many trials as well. The loss of my 15-year marriage, navigating how to manage life as a single mom with a baby and young child, and physical health challenges. All of which contributed to me making the difficult decision to close my thriving practice after 10 years. My future was uncertain…

Life is filled with constant change, failed relationships, overwhelming responsibilities, stuff! What happens when things don’t go according to plan? Do we lose sight of hope?

Paul writes; “I pray that God the source of hope will fill you completely with joy and peace because you
trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” -Romans 15:13

Hope in God

Lee Strobel writes, “Hope is the inextinguishable flicker God ignites in our souls to keep us believing in the prevailing power of His light even when we are surrounded by utter darkness.”

It’s the quiet resolve He hard wires into our spirit that clings to the seemingly impossible truth that “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him” and that, in the grand scheme of things, “we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us,” –Romans 8:28Romans 8:37. Through His Spirit, we build faith in an everlasting hope that fills our soul with His presence and love for us.

Hebrews 10:22 “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.” In the next verse it says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” In other words, Hope doesn’t waver or get lost in circumstance because it is rooted in the faithfulness of God. Why do we have faith in God? Because He never fails!

Faith – The Full Assurance of Hope

Do we fully understand the relationship between full assurance of faith and full assurance of hope? Is there a difference? I would suggest that Hope is our participation in action of faith that focuses on the future. In biblical terms, wherever there is full assurance of hope, there is faith. Faith is the full assurance of hope and biblical faith is a confident expectation and desire for good things in the future.

You can see this in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

The relationship of Faith and Hope can become clearer to us when doubt enters the picture. Doubt is the enemy of biblical faith and can destroy our confidence if we allow it. By placing our Hope in God, hope becomes an essential part of faith. Let’s look at the above passage more closely to illustrate the point. What happens when we take away hope in Hebrews 11:1? We don’t simply lose the definition of hope, we lose the meaning of faith.

Biblical hope allows us to look away from our narrow vision and opens us to a higher view point in the “full assurance of hope” – the expectation of great things from God. – Hope in God!

Hope is the sense of expectancy and optimism that God wants to instill in all of us who love Him and have faith in Him. It’s an overriding confidence He gives, reminding us that, even in the midst of our greatest problems, God is still with us — and He is greater than any challenge we might face.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11
 [author_info]Debbie Roadruck is the U.S. Ministry Event Coordinator at CVM.  Debbie and her husband Doug, serve with multiple church ministries and enjoy backpacking in the Pacific Northwest. Email: droadruck@cvmusa.org[/author_info] [/author]  

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