{ADVENT} Hope of Another Kind.

Written by: Shelly Faust

It was the month of my 32nd birthday, and I was six months pregnant. Fall had drifted in with the crisp, cool air and my heart was in its happy place. Life was good.

I don’t know if you know this (I’m pretty sure you might), but life has its unfair share of ups and downs and just as quickly as your heart spills over with gladness, it can tumble over with surprising sadness. That’s what happened to me on this September day in my doctor’s office. Cancer isn’t supposed to happen with babies growing in your belly. But it did.

And just like that despair barged in and pushed hope out. Because hope that’s anchored to the good and the happy gets squeezed out when the imperfect presses hard. It drowns in the wake of bad news and flees in the face of adversity.

The news of my medical diagnosis shed light on the condition of my faith. Hope helps build our faith so when our hope is placed in anything other than God, the foundation of our faith crumbles easily. In the midst of life and busyness and ministry, I had unknowingly placed my hope and trust in my own abilities and strengths and all that was humanly controllable. This isn’t the kind of hope that remains. This isn’t the kind of faith that stands. This isn’t the kind of faith we’re called to.

We’re called to anchor our souls to the hope of another kind. Hope that’s not moved by circumstances or founded on earthly reason. Hope that is more than wishing and feeling. Hope that knows there’s an eternal, spiritual truth that supersedes what our natural, physical eyes can see.

This hope doesn’t hide from adversity because it remembers the One who is greater. This hope isn’t hindered by bad news because it knows the Good News. This hope is our defense when the winds blow. It’s our foothold and support and anchor. This hope is our unbreakable spiritual lifeline (Hebrews 6:19 MSG)

This hope of another kind is belief in the unseen. It’s a deep knowing and trusting in the God who never changes. This hope does more than make the heart feel happy; it encourages the soul even in the hardest places. It’s a hope that strengthens faith in the fire of adversity.

Hebrews 6:19 says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure . . . “ This hope is Jesus. It’s the irrefutable, unfailing, eternal Word of God. This is the hope that holds when our world falls apart. This is the hope we’re called to.

When I find myself weighed down with doubt and despair, it’s a warning I’ve given my hope away to an unworthy recipient and disconnected from the Hope –Giver. But this Hope-Giver is also the Giver of course corrections and reconnections. He is patient and good and full of mercy. He is the Healer of cancer and the restorer of life. He is the Giver of hope of another kind.

This hope is a powerful companion, a supporter of dreams, a maker of miracles. It is more than the power of positive thinking or the helper of self. It’s the belief in the God who makes all things possible. It’s an anchoring of our soul to the steady place of His word.

Because of this hope we look ahead with confident assurance that this is not all there is. And that no matter what sorrow or tragedy or heartbreak unfolds in this broken world, there is joy and healing of an eternal kind.

Sometimes we don’t feel okay and sometimes life is unfair, but hope helps. It brings beauty from ashes and makes strength from weakness and settles peace in the chaos.

Hope hurries our hearts to believing. It gives wings to dreams and opens eyes to possibility.

When the world tells us we can’t, hope reminds us Jesus can.

Hope causes us to see beyond the enemy.

Hope breaks the dark and illuminates the path before us. (Ps 103:5)

Hope isn’t grown from perfect circumstances, it’s birthed deep in faith in a God who never changes.

Hope is more than wishing – it’s knowing – because it’s based on the promises of God, not the problems of this world.

Are you feeling hopeless in the hard places of life today? Place your hope in the One who lifts you up when circumstances tempt to take you under. Anchor your soul to the Faithful One, to Jesus, firm and secure.

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Shelly and her hubby, Shawn, celebrate life and family in Southeast Texas. She is a writer, speaker, and an encourager of hearts. You can connect with her on her website at shellyafaust.com or any of the following Social Media hangouts: Twitter (@shellyfaust), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ShellyAFaust/), Instagram (shellyfaust) and Periscope.

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