Here we are in 2021, hoping and believing for a wonderful year!!! I don’t know if you are like me, but there have been many opportunities to be discouraged. I guess that is why this year the word that I felt impressed to choose as my word is Hope. Since choosing it, the Lord continues to remind me why.
C.S. Lewis says, “A Christian’s Hope isn’t an escape or wishful thinking, but something that a Christian is meant to do. “The Hope that God has provided for you is not merely a wish. Neither is it dependent on other people, possessions, or circumstances for its validity. Instead biblical Hope is an application of your faith that supplies a confident expectation of God’s fulfillment of His promises. Coupled with faith and love, Hope is part of the abiding characteristics in a believer’s life.” John C. Boger
Why? Because we are not wishing, we are Hoping, expecting not of ourselves, but in our trustworthy God. Jesus is not only who we Hope in, but He is our Hope! I hate to admit that sometimes I lose sight of that. No not of Jesus, but I let the world speak into my soul far more than I should and I begin to wonder. Yes, after all these years of walking with the Lord, I sometimes wonder why about so many things. I find that when that happens I have not invested the time in the Word!! I run back to the comfort of His Word; Psalm 42:5 “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your Hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” The Lord has continued to show Himself faithful to me, even when I am not faithful. Psalm 71:5 “For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth.”
Twenty years ago, this coming Saturday, the Lord gave us that which we had hoped for. Ron and I had wanted two children when we married, but we had agreed not to let the pressure be the definer. We trusted, Hoped in our Lord to provide. He is after all the giver of life!!! I was approaching my birthday (40)! One precious son. We resolved that maybe we were a family of only children. Both Ron’s sister and my sister‘s family had only children. But God! He had listened to the cries of our heart and at 41 we welcomed our precious daughter into our world!! Addy Leigh Hilton made her appearance on February 6, 2001. She is a precious reminder of His mercy and grace. Addy is a beautiful soul who loves big, chases after her Savior, is a lover of animals, and continues to help me see things outside of the box. When we celebrate Addy’s 20th birthday this Saturday, we will be celebrating our Hope being realized and we will give thanks!!!!
This past Sunday, Addy and I sat at the table and shed tears together of love, admiration, and Hope, as we watched the Homegoing Service of another whose word was also Hope. He exemplified Hope in all he did. As he led his church, Union Grove Baptist Church, Lexington, NC, as he loved his family well, as he mentored, as he shepherded, and even in his death; he exemplified Hope. We all had Hope to believe that Pastor Ken Harris would be raised off of that hospital bed and resume life with us all, especially his precious wife, Kim, and beloved daughter, Claire. We all cried out on his behalf for Pastor Ken’s healing!!! From January 4 until January 27, we Hoped, we believed that God was not only able but would heal His choice servant. We would not receive the outcome that we all so desperately wanted. Instead, Pastor Ken was raised to go Home, his eternal Home, with his precious Savior, Jesus. Through it all, he was consistently giving us the word Hope. It will be something I will forever treasure that his word was the word the Lord gave me, too!!!! I found myself in Hebrews 11, the great faith chapter. Faith and hope walk hand in hand, you really cannot have one without the other. There it was, I found myself in the same verse that the Lord gave me years ago, when I was struggling with losing someone, too soon.
Hebrews 11:13-16 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
When I think of Pastor Ken, I can see his name written in the faith chapter. He encouraged everyone along the way to live well, love well, serve well and be ready to spend eternity with our Hope, his Savior, and mine. What Pastor Ken wanted more than anything was that all he had the opportunity to speak with knew His Savior, not to leave home without Jesus, the author and finisher of his faith!!! He wanted us all to leave the world differently, better than we found it.
Please join me in remembering and praying for Kim and Claire Harris as well as Union Grove Baptist and our community.
Hope, two completely different outcomes one of birth and one of death. But through it all, our Hope is alive and well, continuing to trust and rest in our God, knowing that His ways are not ours. Our Hope and faith are found in Him that never leaves us or forsakes us. The One who is trustworthy and true, never changing. So, we Hope!!! As, Corrie Ten Boom said it best, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.
I Hope that you find yourself with me, full of Hope for 2021. Not looking to the right or the left but keeping our eyes on Jesus and in His Word!!!!
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose Hope is in the Lord his God. Psalm 146:5
** Please remember our Senior citizens and Meals on Wheels Sweetheart Surprise. Make those Valentines and drop them off at Lowes Foods by Sunday, February 7, 2021. For more information, firstname.lastname@example.org, 336-721-1560 or https://www.wbfj.fm/valentines-sweetheart-surprise-2021/.
I’m so thankful that you are part of the WBFJ family.