Sunday, July 22, 2007

What is Your Definition of Hope?

  • "the general feeling that some desire will be filled"
  • "someone or something in which expectations are centered"
  • "Intend with some possibility of fulfillment"
  • "Hope is a desire for something to happen, while expecting or being confident that it will come true"

Listed above are some web definitions for hope - with a friend I have been trying to nail down the definition of the word hope. It is harder than you think to do. You might ask why the difficulty. Well, I think because all the definitions seem somewhat hollow to me. My friend recommended a book entitled Holding On To Hope, by Nancy Guthrie. I have listed it in my current reading list on the right side of the blog. I recommend this book to you as well. It is a short read (just over 100 pages). It is an emotional roller coaster, though so have your kleenex ready. The book is worthy of your time.

The author comes as close as anything to defining hope.....

"Gabriel, like his sister, Hope, told us that the significance of a life is not measured by its length or by what a person can accomplish or contribute. Gabriel, said, "Children are a blessing from the Lord." That blessing comes in different forms--some joyful, some frustrating, some disappointing, some charming, some disarming, some expected, some unexpected--but all a blessing. Gabriel told us that God uses the weak things of the world to shame the strong (1 Cor 1:27). He showed us that God could use a child to communicate the most important truths of the universe to the world. If God can do that, perhaps he can use you and me to accomplish his purposes in our corner of the world if we yield ourselves to him.

...Gabriel of the bible brought the same message three times. It's Jesus. "Don't be afraid, Jesus is coming." And for you and me, as we seek to find God in the midst of our pain, the message is the same--Jesus.

....because it was so important that you and I get the message, he sent more than an angel, or a baby. He sent his very own Son. John tells us: The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. We have the entire message, everything God wants us to know, in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus himself is the ultimate articulation of God's love for you and for me. Nothing else is needed. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Jesus is everything God wants to say to us."

Hope is the expectation of His coming. But unlike some of the definitions above, it will be fulfilled and Archangel Gabriel will announce His arrival.

What are your thoughts on hope?

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