“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” –Matthew 7:7-12
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. –Psalm 62:5-8
Hope can get very compartmentalized. I am often tempted to think of hope being a somewhat vague, abstract concept. In the big picture of my life, for example, I do readily acknowledge that God only is my fortress—my hope for salvation. I really am thankful for this hope, but in certain dark seasons and/or circumstances, when I read that “I shall not be shaken”, whilst in fact I have often been shaken, I have to look at what God is really saying with these hope-y, fortress-y promises.
I have to be reminded that hope is not exclusively for the far and away future. The hope we have in Christ is for all the “futures” – in 3 minutes, tonight, tomorrow, next year, the next decade, and eternity, both for our good and his glory. When things in my life or around me appear bleak, it’s easy for me to shove my idea of hope into a further date, as if to say, “Well right now is ruined, but at least God has hold of the future.” That is so easy to say. It is also not recognizing that God works in us and around us and through us during all things that we face, both good and evil.
I’m learning that one of the best things I can ask for is to be reminded of hope for the present, regardless of circumstances. If we are told to ask and it will be given to us, according to the will of God, then I want to believe that can be for now as much as it can be for forever. My prayer for us this year is that we would readily share the hope we’ve received with others and accept when God uses his word and other people in our lives to keep that hope staked firmly in the ground of right now.