How can we build up a reservoir of hope?
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
I was in the midst of what felt like a pretty hopeless personal situation, and this verse felt almost like an accusation every day I had to say it out loud to dozens of kids. I didn’t want to be disappointed again. Hope felt pointless. But that vision of hope that overflows prompted me to pray these tiny meager prayers and to wait with a tiny glimmer of expectation that God could show up in what seemed like a hopeless place.
I can’t go into the details of what happened, but as it happened, the situation was transformed in ways that I can only call miraculous.
I would love to say that this experience taught me to always pray large, bold prayers and to hold on to hope as a firm foundation that cannot be shaken. But that wouldn’t be the truth.
The truth is that I still fear the future. I still feel the temptation of hopelessness.
And yet, the older I get, the more I build up a reservoir of hope.
These days, when the inexplicable happens, when I encounter grief and hardship and a sense of God’s absence, those are still hard days. But I look back on my life, and I look around at the lives of others who can testify to the presence of God’s goodness and love, and I realize that the hope has not run dry. Even when it feels like there is no hope in the present moment, I can draw on the hope that has built up through times like last summer. I can even draw upon collective hope—the reservoir we fill up together as we share our stories of God’s faithfulness across time and throughout the generations.
And so I continue to pray, for myself and for you, Romans 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
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