|Hebrews 11:1 – “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”|
I just recently realized that there are different definitions of the word hope. A Kingdom definition and another that was created by culture. In the Bible, hope is the joyful expectation of good. Having hope lets us experience all of the great emotions that result from an answered prayer before it has been answered. Hope is what allows you to enjoy a breakthrough before it happens. Hope is what prevents us from being stuck… to keep walking in the darkness when we can hardly see our feet in front of us. Do I have the hope that is defined by the Bible? Or do I have the hope defined by culture? Hope has been redefined in culture from a joyous expectation of something great happening to a mere desire or craving that we’d like to happen… a wish.
I also realized that this kind of hope has crept into my prayers. A brief request for favor that is spoken out more like a flip of the coin chance than an expectation of its reality. Can you imagine what would happen if we prayed with the assumption good is going to happen instead of crossing our fingers for a shot in the dark? How do I get the Kingdom kind of hope back? This hope is something I can position myself for an increase. Kingdom hope is built on faith. I can’t just manufacture this faith from nothing, I need to engage with God in a way that will build up this hope. Faith and hope complement each other. Where our faith is set up on the reality of our past, hope is set up on looking forward to the reality of our future. We can’t have hope without faith and without hope our faith struggles to take root in our hearts. Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see Hebrews 11:1
So, I ask myself, where have I not engaged in a partnership with God for this counterfeit hope to slide its way in? Samuel Chadwick wrote, “It’s a wonder what God can do with a broken heart – if He gets all the pieces.” You would think that I would be more than willing to give those away but certain ones are hard to release… to stop guarding. The broken fragments of what should have or could have been. The shattered pieces of all my “if onlys.” To give those up means I must surrender. But doing so in my past has brought great pain. People will avoid vulnerability to prevent themselves from being hurt, but if I’m being honest…it doesn’t really work for me. I still get hurt. So why won’t I give up my broken pieces?
As I was praying in church this morning, a picture came to my mind of me offering my broken heart to Jesus. The broken pieces of it were labeled shame and guilt and comprised a huge portion of my heart. I thought, “Jesus doesn’t want this ugliness.” I thought, “I will barely have anything left if I give these away.” I suddenly got protective and scared of the gaping hole that would remain. Then the church began to sing, “You are worthy of it all.” I recognized that the significance here was not what I was giving to Jesus, but it was the principle of surrender, the step of faith to trust. He is worthy of that. These acts are not meant as a requirement to receive favor, but as a benefit for my good. Holding on to those broken pieces leaves no room for God’s good work. I don’t have to fear the enormous hole leaving me feeling empty because we were built to be filled with the spirit of God. And He will do that once you give him the space.