Hope

With the recent refugee crisis and tragic bombings & shootings in Paris, Israel & America, “Донесе Надежда/Bring Hope” has been a phrase that is used fairly liberally on social media and with many NGO’s.

As believers – we all pretty much equipped to write a doctoral thesis on love. We sing about love, talk about it, discuss its characteristics and expectations, we practice it, and fill libraries with books about love.

We are also, all pretty much qualified in faith – we major in faith: – church’s have statements of faith, faith in action adverts and courses on how to share your faith.  Faith is a word that we focus on, preach on, sing about, ask for more of and encourage one another with.  Faith and love without doubt get a lot of attention.

Seldom however, do we talk about hope. There are few classes on or songs written about Hope. No real Statements of Hope and even fewer books on Hope.  Yet, the scriptures show us that God puts Hope in the list of the top three human essentials.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13  

Love is vital, Faith is essential but Love and Faith without Hope – seldom if ever are successful.

Hope is difficult to truly define. It is hard to put into practice (especially when times are tough), its complicated to discuss and even more challenging to share.  Hope is looking forward with confidence or expectation and it goes beyond the believing of the promise to the anticipation of the promise fulfilled.

For us, working in the area we currently are, we have come to realize that HOPE is one of the most critical ingredients to a successful rescue.

Many accounts from survivors, detail how when fellow ‘victims’ lost hope in being rescued – concurrently, their will and desire to live faded and resulted in many stepping onto a path of self-destruction.

Paul describes hope as an anchor of the soul: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.  It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain“ Hebrews 6:19.  A ship without an anchor is pretty useless and faith without Hope is equally ineffective.

An anchor must attach itself to something other than the billowing waves and wind.  It must penetrate through the storm and waves to something solid and immovable.  It is the anchor that allows a ship to come in from the stormy sea and unload its cargo and find rest.

So to we must not allow our hope to attach itself to anything here on earth – these earthly things are transient.  Our HOPE must penetrate ”behind the curtain” to where Jesus, the rock of ages sits at the right hand of the Father, intervening on our behalf.

Hope is to the soul as the anchor is to the ship.  The soul will at times, encounter many storms but it must also at times unload its heavy cargo; and it must come in to rest.

Our calling to Bulgaria incorporates bringing HOPE & DIGNITY because when we bring hope, we bring life!

by Peta-Ann Small

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