I watched our dog, Lulu, bounce down the stairs, go to her dish, do her little dance as she looked up at me with hopeful eyes expectantly waiting for her breakfast.
She knew that I would not disappoint and I realized as I prepared her dog food that this was the perfect picture of hope!
I have been trying to enter into hope as I prayed at different times throughout the day and the night about the Coronavirus. But the events of recent days are pushing against hope.
Like many, I was caught up in the concern of those feeling panicked, overwhelmed and because of this, fear held me in its grip as I struggled to pray during this COVID-19 crisis.
I had lost my hope.
And, in the midst of this an indignation and anger rose up within me and I found myself fighting and pushing back against the injustice and manipulation this pandemic had brought into our lives.
And for me, hope was the seal and security I needed to continue stepping forward and praying into the panic that was consuming so many lives.
There is a verse in Romans, that says “hope” is a vital part of successful prayer.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”Romans 12:2
This verse challenged me as I continued stepping into prayer, realizing I also needed hope and not just hope, but being “joyful in hope.” That was the hardest part for me.
Part of my prayer times often involves worship and dance but it seemed recently my feet were glued to the ground. And, as I reflected on this verse, I realized hope was missing and without it, I had lost my joy.
I needed to purposefully restore my hope and trust in God and as I did this, I began to move my feet a bit and then started dancing as my joy returned.
God doesn’t ask us to be “joyful in hope,” He commands that we be “joyful in hope.” This means we can not trust our emotions and feelings of the moment, but by faith we must stand in hope. And, from there we can step into joyful hope and worship as the love of God is poured into our hearts by our acts of faith.
“And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”Romans 5:5