November often beckons our hearts into a posture of gratitude as we move towards the end of another year, culminating in the celebration meal of Thanksgiving. As time drew near for another update on my 2023 One Word Hope, adding ways my heart feels thankful for Hope seemed the perfect update.
My dear friend and fearless leader of our One Word community, Lisa Burgess, suggested the same idea, suggesting we may even compose a “thank You” card listing our points of gratitude for our One Word.
Far too verbose for that sweet suggestion, join me as I savor thanksgiving for my life-giving One Word Friend, Hope.
In the final days of my One Word journey, Hope lessons abound, speaking deeply into my life. I created a special page on my blog where all my Hope posts live, please take the time to acquaint yourself with the wonders of my journey with this magnificent word.
The Beauty of Hope
Reflecting on the past months of my journey revealed many facets of the complexities of my One Word Friend.
For many “Hope” speaks of restoration or a positive, expected outcome; yet only in the grasp of the icy fingers of hopelessness do we truly experience the beauty of Hope.
In the midst of my meditations on the ways my heart rests thankful in Hope, the wrestling with the darkness in the hard places revealed the truest nature of Hope. (Lamentations 3:19-26 NIV)
“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.”
Thankful for an Anchor
One of the earliest lessons Hope taught me grounded my entire journey as I remembered the Hope which anchors our souls is not just any hope, but a Hope which withstands every storm we face.
Fixing my eyes on the Hope of God’s promises fulfilled in Jesus Christ set the anchor of my soul steadfast and sure. Equipping me with 3 ways Hope anchored my soul in Christ, life’s roughest storms proved the strength of that anchor over and over again.
Thankful for Connection
While growing in intimacy with Hope along my own hard paths, my heart became knit with others along the hard way. Sharing Hope fortified not only my own faith in God’s promises, but that of my traveling companions.
But the most amazing result of Hope-filled connections burst forth in a kind of communal thankfulness for Hope. The more we savored Hope within our trials, the more gratitude overflowed our lives.
Thankful for New Perspectives
Among many things challenged by my friendship with Hope, perspectives and opinions head the list. Through a better understanding of biblical Hope, my perspective on expected outcomes shifted from one focused on self to one focused on Christ.
Placing my Hope in Jesus changes my perspective on how I view my past failures, present struggles and future fears.
Hope reminds me of God’s redemptive work in my past, which changes both the present and future. For as He redeems the broken parts, the Light of the glorious gospel shines through those same broken places as a testimony to His surpassing power of redemption.
Thankful for Hope’s Physical Presence
More of a comfortable friendship than a journey, my relationship with my One Word, Hope, took me to new levels through experiences.
Hope threads the comfort of the eternal love of God into the minutiae of our days wrapping us fully in the experience of its beauty in a sensory way.
From encountering Hope in every expression of love, touch of unopened rosebuds, and the soft pages of my bible, to the promise of God’s faithfulness in the sunrise, Hope meets me daily right at my fingertips!
Greeting me in the eager face of my granddaughter, a bouquet of sunflowers and the sound of soft waves on the shore, or a gentle evening rain; God’s life-giving, eternal Hope abides faithful in plain sight for those who choose to embrace it.
Thankful for Hope’s Healing
So much in this world seeks to wound us. And in the wounding steals our Hope. At times, awash in grief, or simply noting the tragedy in the headlines, I wonder if Hope even has value anymore.
When overcome by the relentlessness of life’s hardships, clinging to the unwavering Presence of God infuses me with a Hope which heals my heart.
Ultimately, Hope heals your heart in the binding up of your wounds with the wonders of His unfailing love demonstrated in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Thankful for Hope
Gratitude for the companionship of my One Word Friend is inexhaustible. Becoming intimate with Hope, developed deeper intimacy with the Author of Hope. Filling the dry places of my heart to overflowing even along the darkest paths.
Nothing gave me more gratitude for Hope than sitting with my beautiful sister-in-law in the last hours of her earthly life sharing the most powerful words of Hope spoken by God.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.”
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