“The world is full of broken people.
And I am one of them.”
A few years ago I wrote a New Year’s Eve blog post with that statement as my opening line. This New Year’s Eve I found myself thinking of those exact words again.
For some people 2015 was a spectacular year full of accomplishments, wonder, and memories to cherish for the rest of their lives. For others, it was nothing more and nothing less than another year gone by.
And for the rest of us, there were beautiful moments we hold closely guarded in our hearts, and moments that nearly broke our hearts and left them shattered.
I’m not going to lie, 2015 was a hard year for me. At times it was an incredibly lonely year. And at times, it felt like a hopeless year.
That word sounds as hollow as it feels.
Hopelessness can sneak into our lives in every way possible.
In our health. Weight gain, carb overload, physical fatigue.
In our finances. Overdue bills, loss of jobs, costly expenses for fixes we can’t afford.
In our families. Our marriages, our children, actions we think we can control and those we really can’t.
Sometimes as believers we think we are immune to hopelessness. That once we believe, we can let down our guard because there is no way it can ever again slither into our hearts and minds.
I was reading in Hebrews today, and re-read something I’d recently listened to a sermon on.
We must, therefore, pay even more attention to what we have heard, so that we will not drift away. -Hebrews 2:1
I think another way I could define hopelessness is to call it “drifting away”. I wrote down these notes while listening to John Piper’s sermon on this section of scripture: “Drifting is very very dangerous. The sign of hope is God awakens the desire to not be a drifter. The Holy Spirit tells you to “fix that”, and your “want to” is a good sign. To not want to is a bad sign.”
John Piper’s sermon also brought back to me the following questions:
- Am I looking for Jesus?
- Am I loving Jesus?
- Am I contemplating Jesus?
- Am I considering Jesus?
A friend today shared in conversation that she believes the idea that “things will get better here on earth someday and our lives will get easier” is a lie that has been preached and preached, and it’s a message that is contrary to Scripture. It is heaven that we have to look forward to, and we have no promise that our lives here will be easy-sanctification.
I agree with her. I agree that “sanctification is a constant grinding of our souls that gets rid of the refuse”.
As I mediated more on what I was reading in Hebrews, it came to me. My One Word for 2016. Hope.
Because sometimes it’s hard to stand against sin. Sometimes it’s hard to discern sin when there is more than enough going around. Sometimes we slip back into horrifically bad habits, or sometimes we allow the bad habits of another to slowly adapt us into believing it’s “OK” when it’s not.
Sometimes life just isn’t easy.
Life is hard.
As a believer, saved by the grace of Jesus Christ alone, with faith and trust in Him, there is one thing I always have when I have nothing else.
When I am utterly alone – I am not alone.
When I am utterly abandoned – I am not abandoned.
When I am utterly torn apart – I have One who mends together perfectly the pieces he already knitted together in the womb.
When I am confused and uncertain – I have One who makes straight paths and provides answers.
When hopelessness comes slithering into the cracks to consume and take residence – I have Hope in Jesus Christ.
I have Hope in Christ when it comes to my Wellness. My Finances. My Family. My Mind. My Emotions. My Heart.
So Hope is the word I chose for 2016, for God to use it to mold me, renew me, refine me, and rebuild me. Hope is what I am choosing to set my eyes on. I want to grasp and hold and realize a true Hope, not a temporary placating of fickle emotions. I want to experience and know that Hope which fills every crack and crevice so that hopelessness has no alternative except to flee. I want to experience the kind of Hope that on the worst days, when death and destruction lay outside my home, pounding on the glass, threatening to break in and overcome, even when that weight attempts to bare down on my shoulders, I am able to grasp and sustain myself in His Hope.
May 2016 be my year of grasping True Hope.