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Category Archives: hope

Never have I been so glad to see an old year end, and a new one begin. Never have I felt such sadness over the past, and such joy over the future. Never have I been so hurt, or felt so happy.

Is it possible for all these feelings to coexist? Certainly.

How wonderful that we can start fresh every year, and that hope springs eternal.  For if it did not, what would be the point of going on? Hope is what propels us into the future, leaving the past behind as an ever fading memory. (Sometimes it doesn’t fade fast enough, does it?) Other times, it flys like a shooting star, when we would wish to linger.

Hope is an anchor and the foundation of faith. Faith believes that something good will happen, that somehow things will be better, and that we will understand the things that have eluded us thus far.

With every year, no matter how painful or joyful, we are different. We are changed by our experiences. Perhaps at times we wish for our youth once again, but given the chance, most of us would not really want to go back. For we have the rich experiences of our life, that have made us who we are. And good or bad, they have brought us to this time and place.

And as yesterday’s song said, “The river’s gonna keep on rollin’ on.” And we’re gonna keep on rollin’ with it, for the alternative is to die, or to become stagnant, like a river with no outlet.

Regardless of our sorrow, life is rich–full of revelations, insight, and lessons. Some of those lessons we would not have chosen to learn, but even those have increased our understanding, and hopefully our compassion for others.  The more we endure, the more we know that there are not always black and white answers to every problem, or solutions to every puzzle. Sometimes the pieces just don’t fit, no matter how we try to arrange them. Sometimes life comes out gray, as the light and darkness merge.

But sometimes it is a kaleidoscope of rainbow colors, and for a moment we smile through the tears, and laugh through the pain. And then life is very good.

But even when it is not always good, life is always precious. Every day that we breathe is a chance to learn something new, to love someone more, and to know God more intimately. For by partaking in His sufferings, we grow closer to Him, and we understand a little more.

Even though at times we would like to run away and hide, no man is an island, and we need each other to find our way. Sometimes we just need someone to listen, and how much more wonderful if they can say, “I understand.”  We long to be understood.  Deep calls unto deep.

The older I get, the more I cherish each individual day, for truly we are promised no more than that. We have this moment, and it is to be cherished. It’s not about tomorrow, or yesterday–it’s about now.  No more saving things for a rainy day–material things should be used and enjoyed now. No more waiting to let someone know how much I love them. It’s important to tell them now, for I may never get another chance. No more grieving as one who has no hope, but grieving as one who knows tomorrow will be brighter, though today may be sorrowful.

I want to see the sun rise,  and I want to see it set.  I want to look at the stars and the moon, and the night sky in all its vastness. I want to feel the wind, the rain, and the warmth of the sun. I want to breathe deeper, laugh louder, cry harder, pray longer. I want to live more than I have ever wanted to live before.

It is not too late for me, and it is not too late for you. We are not here to just exist–we are hear to live life in its fullness. With God’s help and direction, we can find happiness, and more than that– joy, which remains when happiness seems transient. Joy abides deep within. The life force is strong. Can you feel it?  No matter how you have suffered, tomorow is a new day. You will always have a second chance, as long as the sun comes up, and you do not give up.

I wish I could impart my faith to you, and my hope of what each new day can bring. For just as surely as there will be sorrows beyond what we have ever known, there will also be joy beyond our understanding. Life awaits us, and there is much to learn, to experience, and to ponder.

I wish for you a “new” New Year, full of expectation and wonder. Most of all, I hope you grow, and your understanding is increased, and that some of your questions are answered. But may many be left unanswered, so that you will forever be moving in the direction of Truth.

May you feel the presence of God as never before, and may you be thankful for each moment…

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As long as we have hope, we have direction, the energy to move, and the map to move by. We have a hundred alternatives, a thousand paths, and an infinity of dreams. Hopeful, we are halfway to where we want to go; hopeless, we are lost forever.”  Hong Kong Proverb

The power of hope is an amazing thing. It means “to expect with confidence.” It can be the difference between living and dying. Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.” Hope gives us vision, and without a vision, we perish. That may be why so many people (particularly men) die soon after they retire. They’ve lost their purpose. God created us to have a purpose-to have goals, and to anticipate good things.

Notice that the definition meant “to expect with confidence.” Hope has a positive attitude. There’s no room for negativity with hope. The very nature of hope is to believe in something good. The Bible tells us, that as a person thinks in his heart, so is he. If we think positively (relying on God’s promises) we bring positive things into our life, but if we think negatively, negative things come our way. Job said, “The thing I feared has come upon me.” Fear will act as a magnet for bad things. As you begin to dwell on what might happen, you create an acceptance in your heart for it to come to pass. You start to focus on the negative, and before you know it, fear cancels all hope. When you lose your hope, you’ve lost everything.

Audrey Hope (yes, really) wrote, “Change your point of view and everything changes. Hope is the space we jump into, when the next step would be the cliff.” Hope is much more than a Pollyanna outlook, that pretends everything is always fine. Hope enables us to keep believing even when everything is not fine. And yet, we believe that everything is working together for good. Let’s face it–not everything is good, but God can make good come out of the bleakest situation. What Satan intends for evil, God can use for good. Doesn’t that make you feel strengthened? You see, with God, the end is not the end. He can always do more. It seemed too late when Lazarus died. He was buried and decaying, but it was just a chance for God to do a greater miracle. Never forget that–God can always do a greater miracle than you had expected. Don’t limit Him in any way.

Hope gives us energy to keep going forward. Hope tells us that there are hundreds of ways that God can fix our dilemma, or solve our problem, if we just don’t give up. Before your circumstance can change, sometimes your attitude needs to. Everything that is wrong is subject to change! Isn’t that good news? God is not always obvious about His plan, but He is always working behind the scenes to bring it to pass. The Bible also tells us that “Without hope it is impossible to please Him.” God is pleased by hopefulness, not pessimism. Don’t mope around like there’s no reason to live–rejoice in hope. That’s your faith statement–there’s always hope.  Look for things to look forward to. Believe big! Dream big! This pleases God.

Remember-whatever it is that you’re believing for–with hope, you’re halfway there. Miracles can happen when you believe…

See other articles that I have written here:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/109497/lonnette_harrell.html

There’s just something about a new year that is exciting. A chance at a fresh start, I guess. A chance to leave all the painful things that can’t be changed behind. (If only we could.) Somehow hope springs eternal, doesn’t it? We always hope that tomorrow will be better. That’s part of the resilience of the human spirit, isn’t it? Without hope, where would we be? We need hope, before we can have faith. So never stop hoping that tomorrow can be a new day.

I wish for you all the old dreams that you have yet to fulfill. And new dreams too. Never stop dreaming. And whatever seems impossible, and whatever people say you can’t do-do it any anyway…