H O P E

Today wasn’t awesome for me. In fact, last week wasn’t awesome either. I have this nasty habit of falling in the victim trap where the whole wide world is falling to pieces around me and it’s everyone’s fault but my own. To be honest, I fall into that trap more than I’d like to admit. In these moments of pointing fingers and gripe-y grumbling, I completely disregard anything and everything my Bible has ever pointed out to me. I forget how much Jesus loves me. I forget the sacrifice He made so I can live and breathe and worship and dance and just be ALIVE. I forget that He is literally looking down at me going, “Golly Ashleigh, I freaking made you from nothing the least you could do is be HAPPY.” Today, I was reminded of the wonderful, delicious HOPE of Jesus. He didn’t do the amazing things He did for me to groan about going to school, He did it so I can live in total grace, gratitude, and worship. So, if you feel like you’re tripping into the sloshy pit of victim despair, here is a bit of hope, a bit of love, and a whole lotta Jesus.

See, this same world that we might complain and gripe about is absolutely over-flowing with hope. His grace is abounding, even today, thousands of years after He walked around performing miracles on the daily. This is the same guy who made the blind see, healed the sick, made his best bro Peter WALK ON WATER. He rose people from the dead and even rose from the dead himself. This guy isn’t just any guy, He is a miracle and a miracle worker. He is literally living, breathing hope.

Psalms 33:15 says, “He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do.” He (meaning God) made you, He made me. He picked how tall you would be (or how short in my case). He sprinkled in sense of humor, athleticism, kindness, joyfulness, and smarts to create YOU. He knows how many hairs are on your head because he put them there. He put your kidney in it’s place and structured your bones just right. He made your heart, He made your mind. He made it all from scratch. He made you so that, when you are ready, you can follow His flawless, beautiful, amazing plan for your life. He made you able and available, there is a lot of hope in that.

Romans 12:12 says, “Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble and keep on praying.” Okay, so if you’re walking through trouble, rejoice in confident hope. If you’re sad and mad and anxious all at the same time, rejoice in confident hope. If school is stressing the joy right out of you, rejoice in confident hope. Rejoice confidently in Jesus knowing that He knows what He’s doing. And, if you don’t know what to do while you’re trying to rejoice confidently, trying praying. Pray and pray and pray and pray. We live in a world where Jesus is leaning over and listening for you. He’s waiting for the unmistakeable sound of His precious people praying to Him. Prayers are answered. He still heals, He still listens, He is still hope!

Lastly, I bring to you these words, straight from Jeremiah. “Long ago the Lord said to Israel: I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” (Jeremiah 31:3). Ladies, Gentlemen, God is INCREDIBLE. He LOVES YOU. He LOVES this world. While we are picking and prodding and griping and groaning, He is looking down and saying, “I STILL LOVE YOU.” His love is unfailing, even when we stop rejoicing, even when we don’t feel able, even when we’ve lost hope, His love is unfailing. His love looks like His son, His beloved one and only son, with arms spread across a cross for the people who put Him there, the people He healed in His lifetime, the people who turned Him away, the people of His world, the people of this world, and YOU. He paid the ultimate sacrifice, death, so that we wouldn’t have to. He paid the price so that we would leave our earthly bodies and join Him in the place of ultimate peace, His Heavenly Kingdom. If that isn’t unfailing love, immaculate sacrifice, and ultimate HOPE, I don’t know what is.

 

Live in hope today and tomorrow and next Thursday and everyday. There is absolutely nothing this world can throw at you that He has not yet equipped you to handle. This world was created for you to fit right in, so rejoice in the fact that you have a place! Pick your head up, and be filled with hope. Be hopeful when there seems to be no hope left because there is and His name is Jesus.

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