Monday, February 27, 2012

HOPE



~Please Watch This Short Clip From Shawshank Redemption*~
*For those with sensitive ears, it does have one "bad" word in it


I have made it so you will be directed to You Tube so you can see it in full screen. Please come back and read below.


Hope. The Christian hope is not a wondering if something will happen, but the confident anticipation of what we know will surely come to pass. Some might find it ironic that I would use Stephen King to define hope. As Tim Robbins says, "Hope is within us". In today's vernacular, hope and wish have become synonymous. I hope it snows becomes, I wish it would snow.

Hope is deep within us, it is at our center, as a Christian I would say it is empowered by the Holy Spirit. Hope is what sustains us when the world is falling in around us. It is the True North Star that gives direction to our inner compass. We, and we alone decide if we will embrace hope or give in to fear.

In the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, their primary method of control was to destroy hope. "The Red Cross is delivering blankets in two weeks." Then nothing would come. "We are looking for skilled carpenters and plumbers." Then they would be gathered up and exterminated in the showers. You see, if you can build hope and then rip it away, you have a shot to get the person to give up - to lose hope. This was described in,  Man's Search for Meaning by Vicktor Frankl, as he recounted his days in the Death camps. During 1942 - 1945 he slaved in four different camps including Auschwitz.

A great deal of us are facing troubles in our lives. We are uncertain about our jobs, homes and the economy in general. Hope tells me that I will preserver through these tough times. I have been through tough times before and I always wind up through them. I may not be where I wished I would be, but I am definitely where I hoped to be -- That being through the trouble. The passage in the New testament that gives me the most peace is in Romans 5: 2-5. Again I will share from The Message translated by Eugene Peterson:

"We throw open our doors to God
and discover at the same moment that he has already
thrown open his door to us.
We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand
-- out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory,
standing tall and shouting our praise.
There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise
even when we are hemmed in with troubles,
because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us,
and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue,
keeping us alert for whatever God will do next.
In alert expectancy (hope) such as this,
we're never feeling shortchanged.
Quite on the contrary--
we can't round up enough containers to hold everything
God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!"


All I can say is, do not let anyone or any set of circumstances rob you of the hope that is within you. Ask for help in your troubles. Ask God to help you see beyond them. Look to your North Star and plot your course - then launch out in faith that this too shall pass.




Peace,
~Al