Friday, 14 September 2012

Living inside Hope

I am currently participating in a thought-provoking book discussion here, considering some essays by Barbara Kingsolver. I hopped onto her website today and came across this quote: “The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. The most you can do is live inside that hope, running down its hallways, touching the walls on both sides” (from Animal Dreams). I think she’s spot on. Except that to fully live inside True Hope, we will run along the path of His commands, holding His hands. My Hope (and hers, and may she be given eyes to see this) is not in a safe building, a safe place somewhere….my Hope is in a Person.

When I think of Hope, I think of how apart from Him I can do nothing, but that if I remain in Him, I will bear much fruit. Even in my prayers....

“O God of grace,
I bewail my cold, listless, heartless prayers;
Their poverty adds sin to sin.
If my hope were in them I should be undone.
But the worth of Jesus perfumes my feeble breathings,
And wins their acceptance”
(Extract from “Continual Repentance”, Valley of Vision).

I LOVE the word “but”. God ALWAYS uses this word. On our own – hopeless. BUT NOW, in Christ – we worship the God of Hope and possess all the hope in the world! Our prayers, on their own…hopeless. BUT NOW, offered in the Name of Christ….a fragrance pleasing to the Father.

How does the bridegroom describe the words of His beloved bride?

“Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride;
    milk and honey are under your tongue.”
(Song of Solomon 4:11)

Oh! What love is this!

I will never forget the day, just about a couple of years ago, when I read these words and wept and wept because they confirmed what the Lord had been working in my heart over the previous few weeks:

To be a Christian is to believe that it is the Father who defines our identity and is to be believed against all inner and outer accusations to the contrary when he says of us ‘This son of mine’. To know that is not to skulk in the back pew; it is to come forward with confidence to receive the inheritance.” (Thomas Smail, The Forgotten Father).

I skulked in the back pew for far too many years of my Christian life, feeling wretched and worthless over my sin. Even now, I struggle with the temptation to revert to this way of thinking. But this is a denial of all that Christ has accomplished, when He once and for all paid for sin when He shouted out in triumph on the cross “It is finished!” It is true, His blood really has cleansed us from our sin and made us clean, when we repent and believe.

The words of the bridegroom again:

“All beautiful you are, my darling;
    there is no flaw in you.”
(Song of Solomon 4:7)

Words of hope to feast on today.


  1. Amen, amen, Diana. Looking back serves no purpose if it’s to try and atone for sin as our salvation is in Christ alone. We are Forgiven. God’s grace is enough. The blood of Christ washes us clean from every sin past, present and future and, if any man sins, we have an advocate with the Father in Christ Jesus (thinking John 19:30, 2 Corinthians 12:9, 1 John 1:7, 1 John 2:1).

    Scripture is so rich with His promises, the love He has for us, and the Hope we have in Him!

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:3-9

    What a precious way to start our day with words of Hope on our lips, minds and hearts, my friend. And just think, we love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). Joining you in the feast with great joy today, Diana <3

    1. Love you, Ruthie, thank you so much for sharing that passage from 1 Peter 1:3-9 - it is one of my favourite passages! Great verses to meditate on. May the God of Hope fill you to overflowing today and always, my friend ♥ May He provide a new feast for us every day in His Word that reminds us of the Hope we have in Him, and the Love He has for us in Christ!

  2. " hope is in a Person."

    And that is what makes all the difference. Hope is a confident expectation. It bears no cynicism. It is clean and the sister of faith. And what is more, we can take Barbara Kingsolver's metaphor of "running down the hallways and touching the walls" and know that He has made our walls walls of salvation and provided for us are the gates of thanksgiving and His courts of praise.