Keep your hope alive (1)
“Grab…hope with both hands and never let go.” Heb 6:18 MSG
Does your situation look impossible? Are you getting ready to quit? Don’t! Emilie Batisse was seventy-nine when she was injured in a hit-and-run accident and wasn’t expected to live. When Norman Vincent Peale went to visit her, he noticed a row of brand-new poetry books that hadn’t been opened. When he asked her about them, she said, “I love poetry, but I haven’t read those…I’m saving them for my old age.” Mrs. Batisse lived to read those books many times, and when she eventually died at ninety-one, she was planning a trip to Europe. Hope is wishing for something to come true; faith is believing it will happen. Hope is wanting something so desperately that despite all evidence to the contrary, you keep believing God for it. And the remarkable thing is that the act of hoping produces a strength of its own. When Cornell University conducted a study on the effects of hope, Dr. Harold G. Wolff reported that people with hope can endure incredible burdens. One group comprised twenty-five thousand soldiers imprisoned during World War II. Subjected to forced labor, bad food, and filth, many died while others showed only slight damage. Interviews with survivors revealed a far-above-average ability to hope! How were they able to keep their hope alive? By drawing pictures of the girls they planned to marry, designing their future homes, and organizing business management seminars. Hope not only kept them well, it kept them alive! It’s easy to see why Paul describes hope as “an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past…appearances…to the very presence of God” (v. 19).