Grappling With Hope

7 Feb

“Did I ask you for a son, my lord?” she said. “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t raise my hopes’?”  2 Kings 4:28

The Shunnamite woman spoke these words to Elisha when the son God gave her died.  She’d been through much disappointment as a childless woman, and finally had given up hope of ever having a child–so much so that she hadn’t even wanted her hopes raised with a promise of a child from the prophet.  (v.16)

I’ve spoken with many people who’ve grappled with dashed hopes in their lives:  single people who want to be married, childless parents who want children, people with unsaved loved ones, diseased people.  All of them have something in common.  Their hopes were raised only to be dashed and they are afraid to allow themselves to hope again.  The Hebrew words for “Don’t raise my hopes” literally mean “Don’t deceive me.”  God cannot deceive, but I know how the Shunnamite woman feels.  She doesn’t think she can bear the pain of having her hopes dashed again.

“But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.  Psalm 39:7

BUT NOW:  There are times in life when all we can do is throw ourselves at the foot of the cross.  All we can do is bring our pain to Him.  All we can do is be honest with Him.  We’re afraid to let hope bloom again.   We’re not feeling much of anything because any feeling is too painful.

WHAT DO I LOOK FOR?  Consolation?  Change?  Communication?  A miracle?  Guidance?  Faith?  Or the ability to hope again?

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  Hebrews 10:23

Sweet is it that our hope should rest in him who is never shaken: should abide in him who never changeth; should bind us to him who can hold us fast to himself, who alone is the full contentment of the soul; should, as it were, enter into him; since in him is our being, who is love. E. B. Pusey, D.D., 1853

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