For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him. ~Psalm 62:5(NRSV)
I am convinced more and more that faith, hope, and love are not things we can produce within us. As the Psalm above says "hope is from him."
As much as I would like to spend hours upon hours trying to figure out the mysteries of life so that I may find, possess, and explain hope, I cannot.
"The message of hope..." writes Thomas Merton, "is not that you need to find your way through the jungle of language and problems that today surround God: but that...God loves you, is present in you, lives in you, dwells in you, calls you, saves you, and offers you an understanding and light which are like nothing you ever found in books or heard in sermons." (Richard Foster, Prayer, p 160)
It is freeing to recognize that hope cannot be found in books or words of the greatest preachers. I can give the reason for my hope, but I cannot give you hope. Hope is an experience far greater than an intellectual conclusion reasoned out by facts.
Look again at the "message of hope" in the quote above. What joy, peace, and comfort to know that whatever is going on in my life, God the Creator of everything loves me. He is present in me. I am his place of residence. He, the Creator of everything, speaks to me! He keeps me for himself - he doesn't toss me aside as meaningless. I am a valuable piece in his collection. He offers me understanding that is beyond my ability to give to anyone else. He requires nothing of me to make this hope exist. And the experience comes simply from being open to him.
Hope is not about what God does for me now or in the future. Nor is it about what I must do to acquire peace or the treasures of life. It's all about who he is - the relationship he initiates and desires to have in me.
He alone fills me with hope right now. His hope sustains me throughout the day.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. ~Psalm 37:7
Oh Lord, you are my everything. May the experience of hope you give me motivate my thoughts, actions, and words today.