I love the word “HOPE” … it sounds so promising, it looks so bright, it feels so light!
I love how the word “HOPE” expands my brain, gets me looking with expectancy, and replaces that stuck, dead-weight feeling that hopelessness delivers.
Just as I had started writing about HOPE, my admired friend, Pastor Jack Hibbs, sent this thought in an email, “Looking back on 2022…it was kind of an odd year, wasn’t it? To me, it feels like the world experienced a significant decrease in hope in 2022.”
He went on to observe, “Today’s young people are especially are feeling hopeless. Told that there is no God, that they are an accidental by-product of evolution, and convinced that their world is on the brink of destruction from climate change, nuclear war, or the latest virus—they simply have no hope. Anxiety and depression are skyrocketing—and the only comfort people have is to drown their numbness in entertainment, distraction, or substance abuse.”
What Hibb’s said resonated with me. It’s true, especially as porn, and other addictions, become culture’s go to place to soothe our 21st century overwhelm. As the battle for the hearts and minds of our generation continues to rage, it is easy to lose HOPE. It is easy to grow weary.
But Hibbs went on to state that hopelessness doesn’t have to be our story; “… you and I (can) know a hope that is sure and steadfast—a hope called by Scripture “an anchor for the soul” because it is based in the promises of God.” That is our HOPE!
As I continue to work with women lost in the depths of despair after spousal betrayal, and Brian and I continue to work with couples to help them restore and rebuild after trust has been broken, it can often seem like an uphill battle. It can be easy to feel drawn into their dark hopelessness.
But we don’t need to give in to hopelessness when our lives are turned upside down. Instead, we embrace Romans 5:3-5 where we are encouraged to, “…REJOICE when we run into problems and trials … (because) this HOPE will NOT lead to disappointment. For we (can) know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
In fact, just a few minutes ago, I received a HOPE-filled, reason to REJOICE text from a former client couple, who had every reason to give up on their couple-ship. Instead, they persevered and drew closer to God and one another. Today, they have just completed a self-done kitchen reno (a reno, in itself, can destroy a marriage). Loved his analogy of their journey!
“A beautiful kitchen is like marriage: lots of demo, dreaming, creativity, hard work, missteps, misgivings, misguided ideas but eventually, a beautiful place of love and even occasionally harmony, but deeply joyful blessings when we look deeply at our trust alongside Father God.”
That is Brian and my story, too. That is our song! As Christ followers, we can be a HOPE-filled people, no matter the challenges we face. We can We can REJOICE that we get to pass on a legacy of HOPE to the next generation. We can prove, by our lives, how “true love NEVER fails (I Cor 12:8).
At ULTIMATE U, we continue to stand for Biblical truth in defining marriage and what it means to be a family (and please, if your marriage or family has been broken by the ravages of addictions, betrayal and divorce, please do not think we are condemning you or implying that there is no HOPE for you. Contrary, we want you to know that there is acceptance and healing for EVERY heart that has been shattered by brokenness (Luke 4:18). And there is HOPE that you can change the trajectory of your future - no matter what has happened in your past!).
Don’t you love “HOPE”, too? Doesn’t HOPE inspire you to want to share the HOPE that you have found? If you have a passion to see marriages and families strengthen and restore, creating legacies of HOPE for the next generation, and you are curious how you might be a part of sharing HOPE … we’d love to hear from you at email@example.com .
This Christmas season, we are so thankful to our God that we can have HOPE! We are so thankful, we can REJOICE! No matter how hopeless our marriage or family seems, we don’t have to stay broken and weary. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you need a glimmer of HOPE, and we’ll reach back to you!
Thank you for continuing to pray and stand with us as we seek to help marriages and families strengthen and restore!
Bonnie & Brian 😊