“This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers,” – 1 Timothy 4:10.

“If Jesus had remained in the tomb, we never would have been bothered with something so intrusive as hope,” – Rebekah Maul.

I’ve got to tell you, this idea really grabbed me one recent Sunday morning. The sermon was a compelling message from beginning to end, but this one phrase, this one idea, so captures the heart of the gospel that I had to write it down.

We talked about it after church over lunch, and then again later (there are certain advantages to being married to the preacher).

“That’s one distinct difference between hope and wishful thinking,” I said. “Often we don’t hope, or we walk away from hope, because we literally don’t dare to hope. It’s not that we are afraid of being disappointed, but that we don’t dare to hope because we are afraid of what hope will require of us…”

Our hope is not for God so much as our hope is in God. Like faith, hope is something of substance, rooted in a very real relationship we have with our Creator. This speaks to the intrusiveness of hope, because it comes out of our active, purposeful engagement with God.

At its simplest form, we hope because our hearts tell us that, “Jesus loves me, this I know.” It’s a song that needs to find its way back into the adult consciousness. If we are not careful, we can lose touch with such uncluttered expressions of our faith.

Here’s the point: I dare you to hope. I dare you to allow the intrusiveness of God’s initiatives of grace, mercy, light, love and encouragement to carry you into the future. I dare you to let enough of Jesus in that you are remade by hope. I dare you to stop wishing for and recognize who you find your hope in.

Because of hope – Derek

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Derek Maul
Derek Maul has written for many news outlets, including the Tampa Tribune, The United Methodist News Service, All Pro Dad, FOCUS Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Presbyterians Today, Guideposts, Chicken Soup for the Soul and many other publications. Read Derek Maul’s daily blog posts at www.derekmaul.wordpress.com.