I left church this morning with these words ringing in my ears, because during worship time, it was my prayer,
‘all my hope is in you…’
I wish words could sing off the page, and that you would hear the melody reverberate in your heart.
That if all our hope lay in God, He would not disappoint. Its when our hope turns elsewhere, we are disappointed and, confused.
It is something I am changing on a daily basis. To hope. And, actually, hope translates not just as [an expectancy that something particular might happen], but the archaic definition translates as to be [a ‘feeling of trust’]…
Because when we say we are hoping in Him, we are not pinning our hopes on being given what we believe we deserve. We are trusting that God will provide what we need.
When I am praying hopefully, I am not entirely sure what it always means or entails for me and the future, but, within my everyday life, putting all my trust in God, has only brought more hope and reassurance, more peace and contentment than hoping in anything else.
We cannot always guarantee our prayers will be answered as we expect but we can trust that God is listening, and responding. His timing is sometimes obscure to ours, His understanding of our needs sometimes different but we can be assured that being hopeful in Him is always more hopeful than hoping elsewhere.
Because, if our hope, is only the hope of something particular to happen, at some point, our hope might translate into a request that actually isn’t answered in the way we hope, and because we have not trusted, but only hoped, we are somehow disappointed.
And as I sit here I realise, when Jesus left the disciples, He gave them a great commission. He left all the hope of the world on their shoulders. All His hope lay in them. He gave them everything they would need to accomplish this great commission, to build His church.
Yesterday, Malcolm, a guest speaker, was talking on church. Local church. And here is it, our amazing opportunity, and, a big responsibility, our commission. And how do we achieve an amazing church? By going back to basics, the original blue print for church. Acts. Jesus has given us a great opportunity to join together in unity, and be a family that is, church.
That church, as Malcolm said, is ‘not birthed through a great name and a great strapline’. Was my favourite quote of the sermon. I love this, because the world is so orientated and controlled by marketing and business.
Marketing is the same religious frill for business, as Catholism is to Christianity. It provides comfort zones, fencing and false boundaries for people. Where the edges don’t blur and there is definition. The ethos becomes comfortably separate from the heart, preventing emotional entanglement. It provides a one-voice-for-all, so everyone can come under the same banner, preventing a need to bring in their own heart.
Having a great name and strapline supposedly brings a beacon of hope, but leaves the hope on the poster or flyer, as the hope lies in God and God cannot be put in one box, with one label or strapline.
For me, church has never been easy. I am sometimes awkward, self conscious, and uncertain in large crowds, and this church is, by my standard, big. But Jon’s loyalty and belief has kept us here. And, I thank God it did.
Through our most difficult time within our marriage, the church was a rock to both of us. It stuck its neck out in hope that our marriage would survive and gave us as many tools, support and advice as they could, to get us through.
Because church is an investment, a family that’s to be stuck at, at difficult times, and visa versa.
The people in this church gave us the best possible hope for survival. Had we been without church, the chances of our marriage surviving would have been somewhat less than hopeful. The people in this church invested time into us, and put hope in God to bring us through.
God has no plan B. All His hope is in us.
And my hope lies in Him alone.