“Faith goes up the stairs that love has built and looks out the windows which hope has opened.”
Charles H. Spurgeon
“It’s supposed to be sunny tomorrow!” “Oh, I hope so, I’m tired of this rain!”
“Young man, I hope you have your room cleaned when I get home!”
“I’m really hoping there’s not a lot of traffic today.”
The word “hope” is used for many situations and feelings. But where does hope originate? Are we just waiting for something to happen because it’s the norm? Or are we waiting for events to happen because they are backed with a promise from God, a word in your heart, or a special verse God has spoken to you about.
“But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” Romans 8:25
Hope can fade when we have waited a long time for something we truly desire but waiting and being a Christian go hand-in-hand; just as hope and waiting, faith and patience, and on and on. So many of our tests and trials are based on waiting. And not just the simple act of waiting but waiting with patience. “Waiting well” as some say. How many of us can sit at an extra-long traffic light without getting just a bit antsy? Or when trying to search for something on the internet and it’s taking more than 1.2 seconds to load? Some of us have been blessed with patience, others have not. I’m in the latter category, unfortunately. So, I must remind myself, almost daily, through God’s Word and through inspirational quotes, etc., that God loves faith. And because God is waiting, so will I.
Paul in Romans speaks of the promise Abraham was given by God – Paul describes Abraham as someone who “…against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations…(4:18a). Abraham believed in the Word of God so strongly and waited for his promise so ardently, and God finally gave him that son he longed for. The waiting, the hoping, the patience, are all part of God’s plan. Something is born in us as we hope and pray. Our relationship with our Heavenly Father becomes stronger, more vivid, as we begin to realize that the end result of our hope, of our promises, of our waiting, is merely a perk of this process – and our close relationship with God is ultimately the prize we obtain.
When I became an AIMer (now called Short Term Missions) in 2016, I had such high expectations with what my life and ministry would be when I went overseas. But right around 6 months of my 12-month term I experienced a blow to my faith that shocked me. The enemy tried to convince me I had never heard from God regarding promises He gave me, and that God didn’t call me to South Korea. I had to fast and pray to get out of the mental hole I was in. I sat in my little apartment in Mokpo, South Korea and watched preaching on Youtube, read the Word of God, prayed, and cried. Fortunately, my host pastor’s wife cancelled the Bible classes for part of that week so I could stay home. This process was first of many I would experience overseas and each one bringing me not only closer to God, but the faith I developed despite what my physical eyes perceived was irreplaceable. I would not trade any of those difficult times for anything.
As we hope and wait patiently, we seek God and begin to have a closeness to Him that we realize we can’t live without. And then the waiting doesn’t seem so hard, the hope God puts in our hearts for His plan and His will, is a hope for a beautiful future that He has carefully and meticulously planned out. We all have different stories. But God is creating us to be the Christian He desires us to be – and with that, the hope of a future only He can provide. There’s an old song that comes to mind.
God is gonna finish just what He started
Even though the waters have got to be parted
Lift up your head, don’t be brokenhearted
God is gonna finished what He started in you
Written by Associate Missionary to Korea, Stephanie Barcus from St. Paul, MN