Holding on to HOPE

At Home for Good one of our values is that we are hopeful – or hope-full. Why is that so important to us? There are lots of reasons, but here are three of them.

Are you involved in getting children to or from school at all? If so, what are your conversations like on these trips? We have four children from toddler to teenagers in our family, and on the days when they're all in the car, there’s quite the range of topics covered.

Ahead of a weekend away on the coast, this morning my four-year-old announced, “I hope I see a unicorn when we’re on holiday,” quickly followed by my eight-year-old telling him unicorns weren’t real and that he “hoped he wouldn’t see a sea monster when he swam in the sea.”

There was a short silence before, with expert timing, one of my teenagers simply said, “I just hope I didn’t have any homework due today.”

Often, when we talk about hope, we speak about it as though it’s a wish; if I cross my fingers then perhaps this might happen. If I manifest well or often enough then this dream might become reality.

Hope in the Bible is different.

Biblical hope is a certainty, a confident expectation, not based on an individual’s strength of feeling, but entirely on who God is.

In a section in Hebrews 6 that’s entitled ‘the certainty of God’s promises’ comes this amazing verse - ‘we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure,’ (v19). Earlier on, the writer of Hebrews has exhorted us to ‘hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.’ (Hebrews 10:23).

Hoping in God doesn’t depend on us, our ability, strength of feeling or determination.

Our hope is Him and in Him.

Isn’t that lovely – we can all hope in Him and live lives of wonder, free from challenges because of it.

Just kidding. That’s not what hope is either.

The promise of God is not that following Him means a life without suffering or counting the cost, nor that we will never experience challenge or heartache. The promise is His presence. That He will always be with us. We can have confidence that He will NEVER leave us or forsake us. His promise is that one day, we will be with Him in eternity where there are no more tears, sadness, mourning, death or any of the things that rob us here.

This side of eternity, our lives are lived in tension, in the in-between of the now and not yet.

Our hope is Him – present, alongside, hearing our prayers, moving powerfully in and through us but sometimes in the midst of challenge, heartache and pain

Our hope is also to come – our obedience and sacrifice is never unnoticed and will one day be realised in and with Him.

At Home for Good one of our values is that we are hopeful – or hope-full. Why is that so important to us? There are lots of reasons, but here are three of them;

1. It’s who we are

    As we’ve just outlined, being hopeful is who we are called to be as Christians. This doesn’t mean we are unrealistic or ignorant of the challenges there are, but we are full of hope because God can do immeasurably more than anything we could ask or imagine through us.

    2. Belief in and for the children

      After another day of advocating in schools that feels like banging your head against a brick wall or falling into bed exhausted after another day spent trying to help your child regulate when it feels like nothing is changing, when you’re deep in compassion fatigue; it can feel hope-less.

      Yet at the centre of all of this are the children and young people, created with such potential and deliberate design, who we want to consistently champion and believe the best for. Hope keeps us fixed on this vision.

      3. Sometimes it’s all we’ve got!

        Hebrews tells us that godly hope is an anchor for our souls. On ships, anchors are most useful in stormy seas, not calm waters.

        Anchoring myself in hope doesn’t mean I see everything through a soft-focus lens, all my wishes come true, and I feel full of hope all, day every day. Sometimes it takes great courage and holding on despite what I see and feel, because of who God is and what He has promised.

        So, how do we do that?

        One of the things that has been most valuable for me as I continue to practice holding on to hope, is to know what's on that anchor! If I don’t know the promises that God makes to me, then how can I hold on to Him or them? If I don’t know, remember or speak out His promises, then how can I hold on and remember His faithfulness?

        The Bible is not a textbook that we learn quotes from, nor a reference book that we occasionally turn to; it’s the living word of God, to teach, guide, comfort and ground us.

        Perhaps you’re reading this as an adult who loves and is raising a child with experience of care and trauma? Perhaps you’re in a season which is really challenging, or maybe you’re in a sweet spot right now. Maybe you’re someone considering what part fostering, adoption or supported lodgings might have in your life, now or in the future?

        If you’re familiar with the Bible, then what are the verses and stories that you need to return to and remember? How can you bring those promises into your daily life so they become a declaration over your circumstances, those current and those to come?

        One of those for me is Deuteronomy 31:6 where God says, “NEVER will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” On those days when I feel on my own, clueless about next steps and like no one else gets it, I remember this is engraved on that anchor.

        If you’ve hardly read the Bible before, or haven’t done so for a long time, then there’s no better time to start than now. It will take a decision and action from us, but with hope like this pouring out of His word, it’s an investment that’s perhaps more vital than we realise.

        I remain confident of this; I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14


        Author:
        Claire at Home for Good


        Date published:
        June 2022


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