Called to Hope

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

Chances are that whichever one you are, you have seen the strengths and weaknesses that accompany your particular personality. The optimists are not afraid of jumping into new situations and experiencing new things. The optimists also have a tendency to rely more heavily on assumption and presumption, than facts. On the other hand, the pessimists usually will not get caught on being short on facts. This combined with the endless quest for more information leads to what we have come to know as analysis by paralysis!!!

Well, the Bible doesn’t tell us to be an optimist or a pessimist, but it calls us to have hope.

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5

This means to me that hope is intangible. It means believing in something that hasn’t transpired but believing it because of who has said it.

I have found over the years that I am weak in hope. I am an analytical, factual, and practical person. This makes me think in terms of the information given and how the problem can be solved based on the given facts. This ability is a gift from the Lord and it is very useful when it comes to problem solving or giving counsel to people. However, the weakness of this gift is that it overrides the intangible for facts.  Life is often about intangibles, requiring us to have hope. One of the meanings for the word “hope” is “not being ashamed”.  We don’t like to be ashamed or look like a fool!!


Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1 Corinthians 1:25

Our flesh doesn’t want to believe in something that we don’t have the facts to prove.  We feel foolish and afraid of being put to shame by people. We fear that they could ridicule us in their heart because we have believed God’s promises or His word for us. We don’t have an answer for them, and we don’t have an answer for our own questions. All we know is that we have two options. The first choice is giving up on what God is doing and rest in the mediocrity of faith. This helps in not getting disappointed again and again. Our second choice is to continue to hope in God which will painfully stretch our faith!

Faith is stretched when you feel the foolishness of what you have heard and still put your hope in what He has spoken.

 We can’t do life the way the Lord has meant it unless we are willing to be stretched in faith by continually hoping in what He has said. The prophets of old, and the Biblical pioneers continually hoped in who God was and what He was doing on the earth rather than what it looked like at the moment. Paul in 1Corinthians 13:13a said, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three…

 How is your hope gauge today? Hope is an essential ingredient in living life of faith. Do you find you have hope for others more than you can have hope for yourself? Do you see people or circumstances as obstacles to hope? Find scriptures that speak on hope and mediate on them; allow the Lord to stir up hope again.

 

Custom Made by God

Have you ever wished to be in someone else’s shoes?

I enjoy fashion and growing up I was blessed with a father who was a tailor and a mother who was a seamstress. All I needed to do was point to a picture in a fashion magazine and ask Mom to make me the dress. Mom would make this beautiful dress that was perfect in pattern, style, and size. She would do the same for herself.

 

Both of our dresses were custom made and beautiful, but  the thought of wearing each other’s dresses never entered our minds. Each dress was uniquely fashioned for the taste, body type and our age. My dress wouldn’t have looked perfect on my mom and her dress would not have been perfect on me but our own dresses were perfect for us!! My Mom and I enjoyed our newly made dresses very much.

 

Let’s see what the Lord says about the word “fashion”.

He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works. Psalm 33:15

Your hands have made me and fashioned me, an intricate unity; Job 10:8

The word fashion in the above scripture is Hebrew word 6213 asah which means: to do, accomplish, make, to work, to produce, to appoint, to ordain, to press, to be offered.

This is the same with our God who has fashioned us. His fashioning is like a dress to be put on a body. We are the dress that will be placed on the purpose and plan of God. We need to be fashioned perfectly for “our” purpose. We will not fit someone else’s purpose like we would our own. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Eph 2:10) When we create and fashion something, we rejoice, we celebrate, we rest, and we delight in our production. The Lord delights in the work of His production.

 

Every one of us is fashioned uniquely. He is not calling us to be somebody else or do what somebody else is doing, but He calls us to follow Him. We are fashioned by the Lord as unique people and He wants us to stay true to our form. In a world that is full of insecurity and tries to follow or copy superstars, we can only stay original if we stay close to the Lord and hear his voice of acceptance. Stay true to who you are and you will fit your purpose perfectly!!!

 

What is the Lord preparing you for? Are you willing to be cut, mended, and shaped to the size of your purpose?