Guest blogger Melanie Land Graves shares this beautiful writing on hope.

Hope…to have it, is life-giving; to be without it, is a slow death.

I remember vividly so many seasons in my life when I felt there was no hope…in the future, in love, in relationship, in acceptance of who I was, in believing life could be difference, in believing I was worth more than an object of someone’s power and control: that night’s would be peaceful, sleep would be restful, safety was assured; that a day would go by and not be filled with flashbacks or memories; no hope. A very slow death…heart and mind.

As I write that very short paragraph, it is as though a movie screen is flashing 100s of photos in my mind of time gone by. Hard times. Desperate times. Hope was elusive…and mostly covered by alcohol and drugs. What wasn’t covered by alcohol and drugs, a very thick mask took care of…so I thought.

This is a season of a lot of things for a lot of people, many of whom I suspect are struggling to get through the day, just to put one foot in front of the other. Oh sure, there are many that have “all they need” and keep on going, but this is the minority. There are many today who are grieving, battling life threatening disease, battling life threatening addiction, traumas and events of all kinds. Do they have hope? for tomorrow? for a future? that “things” will change? will life always be this way? why me? where is God? and the list goes on. This is a difficult season for so many. My heart is burdened for a few families that I know that grieve the loss of their child. Where is their hope? I cannot imagine the heartache. The list goes on…

But God…

But God stepped in and redeemed all that was broke in me; He delivered me from a mountain of shame and guilt; He showed himself to me in a mighty way so that I would minister to others and share the Good News! He gave me hope when I did not think there was any! I cried out to him, literally, and he heard my cry! He restored to me the joy of His salvation! It was done! No more shame!

There is one who is able to do more than we ever hope or imagine! There is one who is able to comfort us in our darkest hour. There is one who knows the pain of loss; who knows the pain of desperation; who knows physical pain; who has cried tears of heartache; who has grieved; who understands rejection; who understands “why me?”; one who has faced death; one who has overcome!

He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground, he had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:2-5).

Jesus gives a grace greater than anything we can ever imagine and covers all our sin; He has an unconditional love that exceeds all boundaries of man and fulfills our deepest longings; He has a mighty power that heals, redeems, restores, reconciles, revives, rebirths, transforms, ignites, battles, and does the miraculous! He is the one we have hope in. He is the one we wait on, day in and day out. He is the one who will answer all those questions and give us life. A rich, joyous, sustaining life. He is the one who will make beauty for ashes and joy for sorrow. He is the one we find hope in…

“For unto us a child is born, to us a child is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6-7 NIV)

Pray for His sustaining love and presence. Ask Him to give you what you need. Reach to Him. Hold on to hope in him. Receive the gift He has for you in grace, in eternal life, in love, and eternal hope. That is all you have to do. Ask…and receive Hope.

How have you received hope? Share your experience here and breathe life and bring hope to others.

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