Sunday, August 16, 2009


I Corinthians 13:13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Life has really looked hopeless at times lately. I feel like I'm a fork in the road of life, but each road I look at looks dark and dismal. I pray for guidance, and nothing happens. I do feel like I am hanging onto a fragile thread hanging over the canyon of despair, and some days, it seems my hold is slipping. Hope is such a nice word, but lately, it seems like its out there somewhere, just beyond my grasp.

I read the verse above, and wondered, why does the Bible say the greatest of those three is love? Can a person truly live without hope? I think you could live without faith - thought it is impossible to please God without it, and maybe you could live without love, but without hope? So why isn't the greatest of those hope?

I searched for the three words in the New King James. Hope appears a mere 150 times, faith appears 422, and love appears 697. So love must be the most i important of the three.

Could it be, if you truly don't have love, you can't have the other two, and it is possible to have the other two and not have love? I don't know.

Regardless of the order of importance, all three are important. We are commanded to have faith and love, but I am not aware of a verse that commands us to have hope. And why not? It is obviously important - it is pretty hard to live the Christian life without hope - believe me, I know.

I looked hope up on I liked two of the definitions:
1)the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best
2)a person or thing in which expectations are centered

And therein lies why hope is important. It hinges on faith. If we feel hopeless, and that things aren't going to turn out well, and we are serving God, than we also have a lack of faith. We must have hope that God will work for the best in our lives.

We need hope
To climb the highest mountains
To cross the lowest valleys
To walk through barren lands
We need hope
And in Jesus we can find
The strength we need to try
And the peace we need to stand. (Jeff & Sheri Easter, Silent Witness CD, 1995)

What does one do when they feel hopeless? The devil will take advantage of our hopeless feelings and magnify things so they look all the more hopeless. And so often, I, and others, fall into the trap, and focus on what is going wrong, and hope slips further and further out of our grasp. So how to avoid those feelings? They are real, and sometimes things look so dark, it is easy to feel hopeless.

Some of the answers are obvious, yet easy to let slide if one is feeling hopeless. Prayer. I have prayed so much lately when it seemed my prayers were bouncing off the ceiling, but I keep praying - surely if they keep bouncing around in my room, they will bounce up to God eventually. Reading the Bible. Psalms are really encouraging. David sounded pretty hopeless at times, yet he came through it and was the greatest earthly king Israel had.

One we overlook, is asking others to pray. There is nothing wrong with admitting to friends that we need prayer, but we so often try to be self-sufficient, we avoid asking for help - and sometimes we don't ask for help from God quickly enough.

There are tons of good books on the Christian market to help and encourage. Philip Yancey has written several, and there are more out there.

And I still believe thankfulness can help. If we focus more on what is going right, and what is good in life - and there is always something good, no matter how bad everything seems to be - if we focused on that daily, thanked God for those things, I believe that can help a lot - and that is something I am still working on.

I have probably done a jumbled mess of getting my thoughts out there. I have a play list on my Itunes labeled "songs of encouragement." Any song I have that really has a good message of encouragement, gets shuffled to that playlist, and I play that playlist more than any other. Sometimes music can just go in one ear and out the other, but one song started playing tonight, and when it was done, I hit the back arrow, and played it again. Then again. Think I am going on 15 or more plays.

I remember the day I bought the CD. The artist is Susie Luchsinger, sister to Reba McIntyre. This song was #3 on the CD and I was driving along, crying my eyes out. I hit repeat several times that day also, and like that day, as I listened to the song this evening, I found tears again coming to my eyes.

The song has three verses, and is the kind of song I love - a "story song." Verse 1 talks about a young man in rehab for the third time, yet his mother still prays for him. Verse 2 talks about a separated couple, and their daughter who won't give up hope for the marriage, and verse 3 addresses peace, and for all three, and for any situation, the song reminds me - and anyone else who listens to it, that "there's still hope."

I found the song on Youtube. It isn't an official music video, but one someone made. Even if you don't like Southern Gospel/Country Gospel, give it a listen. It just might bless and encourage you also. I love the line that says "it's early to give up." How true.

There's Still Hope (Susie Luchsinger)

Verse 1
A twenty year old boy
He's staring out the window
It's a rainy day and his future don't look bright
The third time in rehab
Folks back home say "Ain't it sad,
He could have done so much with his life"
But his mama keeps on praying every night

Verse 2
An eleven year old girl
Is putting on her ball cleats
At the little league park on Friday night
Softball ain't her favorite sport
But she's not playing for the score
You see her daddy moved out last July
But he still sits with Mama every Friday night

Verse 3
There's a little boy in Jerusalem
He takes off running through the hills
Sometimes he forgets the lines of hate
He sees another boy from the other side
There's one thing running through their minds
Wouldn't it be fun if we could play
As their mamma's rush to grab them
For a moment, their eyes say

There's still hope
It's early to give up
The devil's cheering, but so what
There's an angel saying, "no you don't"
Another day, another chance
The strength to change the circumstance
It's alive
If one heart holds on
There's still hope


~Brenda said...

One of the truths that encourage me the most is that all this earthly trouble isn't going to last forever. Just getting my focus on eternity, instead of the here and now helps me, lifts me up, makes me hopeful.