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Hope in the intangible

Hope: The feeling that something we want or need can actually be had or achieved; to look forward to with reasonable confidence that a desire will come to pass. We all have some form of hope in our lives, or at least I wish this for each of you. We need things to look forward to - to get excited about and to invest a little of our passion into achieving. Have you ever placed your hope in the wrong thing? There are a lot of stories told of men and women who wanted to get rich quick and made unwise investments. Their hopes of becoming rich overnight dashed and their bank accounts drained. There are others who have lived long lives with simpler hopes, realizing not all of those smaller and simpler hopes would come to pass either. There are just some somethings that we hope for - not really bad things at all - but they aren't to come to pass in our lives. Why? God knows how those things would have affected our lives if we had them - so maybe he was just protecting us from what it is we didn't know! God expects us to have hopes and dreams, but he always asks that the biggest hope we have is for his grace and love to be preeminent in our lives!

Now faith is being sure we will get what we hope for. It is being sure of what we cannot see. God was pleased with the men who had faith who lived long ago. Through faith we understand that the world was made by the Word of God. Things we see were made from what could not be seen. (Hebrews 11:1-3)

Things we see were made from what could not be seen - this is a perfect description of hope. We don't really 'see it', but we plan and trust, building upon those plans, in the end hoping we will achieve or receive whatever it is we are putting so much planning and trust in. Now, if that hope is placed in Christ first, then all other hope we have will be tempered by this central hope. This is why God asks for Christ to be in the very 'middle' of our lives - so he can affect our hopes and dreams in a positive manner - in a way that will always protect us from harm and hurt. Whenever I have pursued any hope on my own, know what happened? You got it - my hopes were dashed to pieces because what I hoped in was flawed. It wasn't the right timing, method, or materials! Timing can be way off - it isn't that what we hope for isn't right for us, it is just the wrong timing for it in our lives. At the wrong time, even the best of things can prove to be problematic in our lives. 

The method by which we choose to find the fulfillment of our hopes may be one of the most frequently overlooked considerations we experience. We forget that God has a plan much bigger than us, and when we step out to do things in our own way, we might just contradict something God has set in motion that we don't yet see or understand. We opt for 'tangible' methodologies, while God isn't all about the tangible. Reread our passage - he made things out of things that weren't seen - that is saying God's methods aren't always 'tangible'! We might not see how he is working, but trust me on this one, he never stops working! The materials he chooses to use to fulfill our hopes and dreams may seem like they came out of nowhere and guess what - we might be right on the money with that one! God isn't limited by the tangible because he is the Creator of all things. Our methods and materials are limited - his are innumerable. Just sayin!

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