Spiritual hope is often rooted in the promises of God - His glory and resurrection, our salvation and eternal life, the coming again of Jesus, and the hope that we become more Christ-like before His return. The journey towards these promises refines us, prepares us, and opens us to the power of the Holy Spirit that can penetrate and transform us to the depths of our soul.
The beauty of hope rooted in our Lord and Savior is offered to us each day through His forgiveness and mercy. Each day we are invited to wake and invite Him to guide and keep us on His path, which in turn continues to purify our souls. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV)
As you know, a new year brings with it a sense of ‘hope’. But, did you ever wonder why the mere change from December to January initiates such a renewed desire for hope within us? Does December seem like a mental finish line? Many would agree January has an unspoken definition that signifies a fresh start, a blank slate, or a somewhat universal expectation and understanding that we all will seek some level of change or improvement as we begin the new year.
So, what is it that you hope for this year? In what, will you place your hope? Is there a mountain in your life that requires extreme amounts of hope? Is it a mountain that only your hope in God will help you climb?
I insist all mountains, big and small, require hope in God to show us the way. With this realization, we must be prepared to embark on every journey with patience (Rom 8:25, 15:4), knowing it may take more than a year to climb the mountain. Set your sights on His timing. Don’t put a time limit on how long it “should” or will take to conquer or climb the mountain. Trust and know He has you on the fastest path given the experiences, trials, and victories He wants you to experience along the way. Each mountain is a refinement process. Each time you invite the Lord to lead your journey will ultimately take you over the mountain, and make you more Christ-like. These journeys can take time, but the reward is two-fold.
We often seek the GPS-quickest route for every journey in our lives. Extra time, steps, and the scenic route is not typically the route we choose. We have been conditioned into thinking the fastest is almost always the best. But is it? Wouldn’t we want to allow God to work within us longer rather than ‘faster?’ Personally, I don’t think there is a route long enough for the refinement I need and truly desire!
We all need graceful transformation in our souls. Some of us require more time and more refinement than others - and that is all part of His plan. Every mountain is a chance to grow closer to Him. Don’t let anyone, including the voices in your head, determine the path, the time it should take, or reasons to ever give up on your hope – not today and not this year. Look at every mountain and whatever you hope for as an opportunity to spend more time with God on a journey together. The longer it takes – the more time you get to spend with Him!
God is our true and most trusted foundation of hope. He will show you the way…His way. Hope in Him leads to strengthened faith and love (Col 1:4-5), boldness (2 Cor 3:12), and joy (Rom 12:12). And just remember, the gifts He offers on your journey over every mountain are yours to share with others. Through refining you, He invites you to help refine others, and to be a testimony.
This new year, and every day, I challenge you to weave your spiritual hope into the hope you have to conquer every mountain in your life. Frame your thoughts to realize a mountain is a gift to walk with Him. Hope is truly in the unseen and a journey where you are never alone!