My pastor just presented a sermon entitled “Take Pleasure in Hope”. It was just what I needed to hear. I think I used to be someone who was generally good at hoping. I would even say that I often enjoyed the anticipation of events more than the events themselves. But lately, hope has been much harder to muster up. I feel like my rosy glasses have been torn away, leaving me with a view of how many really awful and sad things there are in this world.
The sermon was on Romans 15. The pastor defined hope as “to anticipate with pleasure”. He made an analogy of someone having won the lottery and their anticipation of that big check coming. I was hoping this way with Luke. Being pregnant with him was such an exciting and happy time. I had joyful expectations of warm baby snuggles, soft skin, gummy smiles and tons of adorable baby paraphernalia. I had dreams of a lifetime of happy memories. But now that those hopes have been smashed in such a shocking and irrevocable way, it’s been hard to hope about much of anything. I’m mostly just surviving. I wouldn’t be sad if the world ended today. I want to hope as anticipation with pleasure for future things in life, but it is just hard to do right now. Thankfully, I don’t have to rely on myself for it. God can give me the hope.
I liked this verse: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”–Romans 8:18. I don’t want this current suffering to be minimized because it is fully legitimate and needs to be felt, but I do like the idea that the glory to come is so much greater that it’s not even worth comparing. The time in heaven with Luke will be so glorious that it won’t even be worth placing side by side with the earthly time I have lost.
Another thing I have been struggling with is a changed perception of God. I have heard repeatedly that He is the same God as He was before and I know this is true, but I can’t help but feel like He is a more hurtful God than He was before. He allows things I didn’t expect. He let my heart be broken and although I know He cries with me and is carrying me, this is hard. The pastor said that we are not to think of Him as a God of pain and suffering. His plan is perfect and His perspective is much wider than ours. He allows pain, as I am experiencing firsthand, but not without reason and not without help. It will be redeemed. If only we could have a peek of what that redemption will look like, I know it would help so much to get through this part. I wish we could. Maybe that’s where hope comes in. He said to dwell on the good things: Hope, a Purpose just for you handcrafted in advance, and our Rewards in heaven.
Lord, even though our dreams have been shattered, please give us renewed hope. And not just an I-can-keep-trudging-along kind of hope; A hope that is as pleasurable as awaiting that lottery check. A huge, solid, fireworks-exploding, flag-waving HOPE. We love You and trust You.