December 11

Psalm 65:5-10, HopeRay Trono

By Ray Trono

I never spent much time thinking about hope until I was asked to write about it. I always have hoped for one thing or another. Hope for good things for my family, my kids, my friends, our country, our world, my life. I like to think of myself as being a hopeful person. But what does hope and having hope really mean? Is having hope the same as wishing for the way we want something to be? Can we get what we hope for if we hope hard enough? If we get what we hoped for, what happens next? Or what do we do if we don’t get what we hope for? Is there a time limit on how long you should be hopeful? Should we ever give up hope?

Advent is said to be the season of hope. This is the season when we prepare for the birth of Jesus on Christmas day. We celebrate the beginning of his new life, and we have all the hope of the good things his life will bring. Yet Jesus was born a long time ago and so it would seem that the hope that his life would bring us would already be with us. Is it already here? If so, where is it? Or is this hope that Jesus brings us something that can’t be realized during our life here on earth?

In Psalm 65, the author writes of hope. God’s answer of awesome deeds of righteousness, is hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas. The forming of mountains and the taming of seas. A place where the morning dawns, the evening fades, and songs of joy are called forth. A place where the streams are full, the land is cared for, and where people are provided for. A place where the fields are softened with showers and the crops are blessed. Wow, where is this place? We could all spend a lot of time hoping to be in this place of awesome deeds of righteousness. Or are we there already?

In my attempts to answer the questions that I have of hope, I can’t get far from how important faith is in this. To me, part of having hope is having faith, just as part of having faith allows you to be hopeful. To give you hope that healing will be done, like for a friend recovering from a bad accident, you have to have faith. Sometimes it seems that faith is all there is. Faith that the care the medical staff gives will help heal and faith that the body will respond to treatment. To wake up in the morning being hopeful that your day will be trouble free is to have the faith that your abilities, as well as the abilities of those you surround yourself with, will overcome anything that may cause you trouble. To have hope that your needs will be fulfilled is to have faith that the awesome deeds that surround us will provide for us.

To be people with hope means that we are people who have faith-faith that in one form or another what we hope for will become so. Having hope that each day of new beginnings will bring us something wonderful, whether it’s found in the mountains and streams or in a place we have not yet been. Having the faith that hope is there even though we may not be quite sure what it looks like or what it is going to bring us. To think of hope as it relates to having faith, at least one of my questions gets answered. Should we ever give up hope? No, we should never give up hope.

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