Hope is a perplexing rest. It requires the heart and mind to believe in things that have not manifested and positively look forward to a future event without in some cases any evidence of it to transpire. As I write about hope I feel the close connection to faith. It takes faith to believe the best and to press on through a season of weariness and battle. It takes hope to grasp and cling to the concept that greater things are ahead even as you look around to a well worn path full of trials and resistance. Hope is often extremely difficult and it is the opposite of what the world would perceive as thriving. Many of the concepts we have learned is to work and obtain what we desire. But hope is an act of faithful rest in God to deliver, provide, redeem what are heart is daring to believe. Its the tension of your present reality and your hopefulness for the good that is to come. How can you reconcile those two feelings? This is something I wrestled with, I did not know how to place my hope in the unseen over what I could see around me. Life was dictating my hope and it would be present if things were going right, and seemed to disappear with things were bad. With Jesus we see the perfect example of hope modeled for us to see and ask God to grow in us. God is good during seasons of hope to send messages, encouragement, supernatural events to keep us walking on the path that He has designed. Isn’t that so awesome? That God understands us so well that in our weariness and or waywardness He sends what we need at just the right time to lift up our head and help us to keep moving our feet during our race. I can not think of the better example of hope than the expectation that the cross delivered to us when Jesus said “It is finished.” In His perfect obedience, He opened up the possibility for us all to believe during our breaking points. To trust that what we hope for can actually come to pass, and so see the fruit of our hope birthed into the natural reality. Without God and the redemption that He planned for this entire universe, I am unsure that hope could exist. It was in the garden where I see the first sign of hope for me that fills my heart in Genesis right after Adam and Eve sinned and the very life that God had planned was now different in so many ways. Genesis 4:21-23 And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife. Then the Lord God said, “Look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!” What an amazing picture of HOPE for us! The heart of God is so clear and evident in this passage. It shows the character and nature of God, in our sin we are not abandoned and He will provide provision and hope for us to be redeemed and covered. His expectation of hope in the verse 22 provides insight to the hope of Jesus and the Holy Spirit to come and the promise of eternal salvation celebration for us! Glory to God for Your great love for us, and the wonderful gift of hope for us. Jesus who was fully man and fully God prepared His heart for His difficult path to fulfill the purpose God had for Him. The saving of humanity shows it beautifully in Hebrews 12:1-3 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to this life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the JOY awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor besides God’s throne. Think of all the hostility He endured from sinful people, then you wont become weary and give up, after all you have not given lives in your struggle against sin.” Lord would you forgive us in our weakness during our race as we look around us to people, distractions, sin, and the enemy. We repent of taking our eyes off of Jesus and put our gaze (our eyes of faith) upon Him again. We humbly submit to the truth of your Word and we cling to your love for us. We receive Your forgiveness and all the love you have for us. Holy Sprit would you remind us to fix our eyes when our hope is fading. Thank you God for your mercy and grace during our struggles and your provision to send Your love and equipping us to better run our race with this awesome HOPE we cling to, in Jesus name amen.