by: Elora C. Seniah (aka Carole L. Haines)
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 unswerving belief that better days are ahead, probably in this world and most certainly in the next. It’s the quiet resolve he hardwires 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 8:28, 37). (Lee Strobel, Investigating Faith)
Lee Strobel’s expression of hope quoted above, just blessed my heart this morning. To envision hope as a flicker of God in the Human soul that cannot be extinguished, lifts my heart and my spirit. It reminds me of another verse about flickering flames:
“A bruised reed He will not break
And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish.
This Scripture is amidst a longer prophecy about the Messiah, God’s Messenger. Gazing into the heart of Jesus, as we are privileged to do when we read the Gospels, gives us insight into just how kind and tender He is towards us. He brought hope wherever He went. People were drawn to Him like moths to the Flame. He still has this effect on us when we take the time to watch and listen to Him in His Word, seeing every written detail of how He interacted with others. He was very inclusive of those whom Society had deemed outcasts. He was inviting, engaging, and uplifting. But there was another side of Jesus we saw when He encountered pride, hypocrisy and the manipulative tendencies of the religious elite of His day.
Jesus spoke truth, absolute truth to whomever would hear Him. He gently drew truth out of the Woman at the Well (John 4). He rescued the woman caught in adultery, probably entrapped by her very accusers (John 8). He healed lepers, cast out demons, received and blessed children. And when Jesus departed the earth, He sent the Holy Spirit to fill us and empower us.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
All praise be to our Savior, Lord of Hope, Prince of Peace, who continually grows us, corrects us and encourages us in our daily lives. To Him be the Glory forever and ever. Amen!