This is the fourteenth post in the March series To Love is to Live in Christ, a series reflecting on how we can receive Love ( God ), so that we might live and move and have our being in it. It is based on 1 Corinthians 13: 7 “it…always hopes” and was written for Bonnie Gray’s #OneWordCoffee prompt on the Scripture:
“Your love, oh Lord, reaches to the heavens.
Your faithfulness stretches to the skies.” Psalm 36:5
Faithfulness. This word lingers, as I reflect on God’s faithful presence on my journey and how His faithfulness is growing both my trust and my hope.
I’ve been overwhelmed lately and struggling to trust, but precisely through this struggle, He’s revealed that His faithfulness does indeed stretch to the skies. As I’ve pulled back to rest, struggling from a nasty cold, and from a lingering doubt, He’s been ministering to me. Drawing me to say no and to simple acts of praying, listening and encouraging. And in these simple acts, I’ve been incredibly encouraged in return.
Hope is being grown through His faithful presence, as His heart is leading me to seek, listen and receive. I’m seeing how He’s using the painful tilling of my heart to open it to others, at home with my family and outside the home. And in that I see His faithfulness: that even through the loss I see behind and before me, He is weaving in restoration and redemption. It reminds me of this call and promise:
Zechariah 9: 12 (ESV)
Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.
This world and often our feelings would have us believe that there is no hope, that we should make the most of the here and now, because that’s all we’ve got. But what God opens our eyes to is the here and now as steps toward and glimpses into full restoration and redemption. He leads us to slow, to listen, to reflect and to taste and see the goodness in the land of the living (Psalm 27: 13) as windows into heaven’s Glory to come. Hope both tethers us to goodness here and to the assurance of goodness to come.
Hebrews 11: 1 (ESV)
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
As I shared in my series on hope, hope is both a gift grown through suffering and an active pursuit, strengthened through the choice to behold the face of God in all we do. Through it all, we must keep choosing to come to Him as our broken selves:
Psalm 62: 8 (NIV)
Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
And as we do so, His Hope, will tether us and grow our hearts, assuring us of His Presence: in the past, the present and the future. And as this hope – this assurance in His faithfulness – grows, so will the seed of faith within us, bringing shelter not only to ourselves, but also to those around us in and through His Spirit’s leading:
Mark 4: 30 – 32 (ESV)
And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”