Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
Psalm 43:5 (New International Version)
Some times you don't realize how you are missing hope in your life. It becomes the norm to focus on all that is attacking you or how all of your efforts seem to be failing. It becomes difficult to hope that things can change.
Do you know how many times the word "hope" appears in the book of Job? Granted much of it is talking about hope being destroyed, but it was an important word even in the oldest book of the Bible.
Last Sunday, my own hope in our little church finding life again after an up and down summer was definitely strengthened. Two of our friends had said they might look for other places to worship, and while we knew we weren't the reason they were looking elsewhere, it was still hard to hear. The rest of the group had move or wasn't solidly committed. So on Sunday, I was praying that God would give us direction. Should we start from scratch, or should we keep pushing on.
Within a matter of 15 minutes, God gave me a vision for some new ideas. Three ideas to be exact. In fact, all three ideas had three of something in them. None were completely original as everyone in the church world has tried and/or is doing some of these things. What the excitement and hope comes from was that He gave me a vision for how to move OUR church into forward momentum. After talking with Eric, we decided it was exactly what we needed.
Feeling excited and hopeful, I sent the email to the group to share the ideas, and included an invite to the first part...a First Friday Fun Night. We waited all week for a response. Finally I sent another email. "Did you get the email?", I asked. Immediately the emails came back, "We will be there." That night, everyone's response was so positive to all of it.
Hope! I have hope! We have a future. We don't have to start from scratch yet again! I have to say hope feels great!!! Thank you, God, for your creative ideas! You are so faithful!
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.