My friends, we are not those who give up hope and so are lost; but we are of the company who live by faith and so are saved. (Hebrews 10:39 VOICE)
When we give up hope, all is lost. Desmond Tutu once said, "Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness." So true - for all around us is evidence of darkness, yet inside each of us is the evidence of light! Robert Schuller often reminded his congregants to let their hopes shape their future, not all those hurts of the past.
We all have differing pasts, controversial futures, and a muddle of issues in the present. None are quite the same, but many are similar. We gravitate toward those with similar past or present circumstances - this is only natural because we all realize the old adage of misery loving a little company in the journey! We often find we are in the midst of those who have a similar hope, as well. The present may not be perfect, the past left us a little messed up, and the future may not be clear yet, but somehow we have been banded together in this hope of something just beyond the horizon in each of our lives. This is probably one of the most important aspects of being in companionship with another - we help each other see the hope in each situation.
Rick Warren often describes the hope he has within him which motivates him to never give in, never give up, and to remain steadfast in spite of what he is seeing around him. He finds hope in God's grace - a place I similarly find all of my hope! Why? There is no end to his grace and where there is no end to a really great thing hope can abound. One thing is for certain - not one day goes by where I don't need to "dip" in God's grace at least once. To be truthful, sometimes I just have to take a long soak in his grace because my choices haven't been what they should be, I didn't handle issues the way I should have, or I just plain need to get the "dirt" of my day washed from my soul!
We are ALL in this company of "grace-dippers", aren't we? We all struggle with things beyond our control, give into things we probably should have been able to control, and wish for just a little evidence that God was in control in the midst of the darkest of circumstances. We find hope in the well of grace. We find unity in the presence of those who similarly need and frequent his grace well. We are a community of faith - faith is the evidence of what? Things hoped for! We are then a community of "hope-filled" companions, on this journey together. The purpose of being with another in this journey is often so we don't lose hope! When we stand alone, hope is easily robbed from us by the overwhelming darkness which seems to close in around us. If we are spurred on by another who has even one tiny glimmer of hope, we might just break through to the other side of that darkness into the radiance of the light we so desperately seek. Just sayin!