I love reading testimonies of victory–stories of ordinary people overcoming difficult odds. I often wonder, what enables one person to move forward when everything beats them down? Why do some rise from tragedy and heartbreak empowered and passionate while others slip into ever-increasing bitterness? I believe the answer to those questions are likely as diverse as the obstacles individuals overcome, although I wonder if one truth underlies them all–hope.
THE AUDACITY OF HOPE by Edwina Cowgill
I like the word audacity. It sounds…well, audacious! Bold, daring, confident. Like I want to be. Like I should be because the Bible says the “righteous are as bold as a lion.” I have been made righteous through the blood of Jesus Christ. Thus, it stands to reason that I am righteous, I am BOLD!
I heard this term “the audacity of hope” at Convocation this past June. The Patriarch was preaching and he mentioned the woman with the issue of blood. Matthew 9:20-21 “And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.” Patriarch Bates went on to say that she was desperately needy. (I guess so – after 12 years!) “Being desperately needy makes a person have audacity of hope.”
In our relationship to God, being desperately needy is a good thing. And that’s good, because I find that I desperately need God 24/7.
The word ‘hope’ is found in the Bible 174 times. Here are just a few verses:
Job 11:18 “You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety.”
“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD”
“We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.”
“But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.”
“The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.”
“There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”
“but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
“HOPE” can be an acronym for:
P eace [and]
Think about it. We can have a heart of peace and expectation in the face of all that is going on in today’s world.
Are you desperately needed? Do you have the Audacity of Hope?
Edwina has been writing since her teenage years, but began seriously pursuing her writing career in 2008 by taking classes on writing through several websites and through American Christian Fiction Writers. She has written a number of articles, many of which have been published on various websites, including the Houston Examiner, F.A.I.T.H.: Following Always Intently Trusting Him; The Sara-Ministry.com, the Midsouth Diocese of the Charismatic Episcopal Church and several church newsletters. Her first published work in book form was “Kate’s Story: A Story of Redemption and Love,” presented in “Count It All Joy” an anthology of short stories from the members of Christian Writers United, Newnan, Georgia, in 2009. A second short story, “The Front Porch” was published in 2010 in “Skinned Knees and Skate Keys,” an anthology of short stories based on the writers’ childhood memories. Edwina publishes a blog three times a week; she is currently working on her first nonfiction book. To find out more about her, her ministry, and her writing, visit Musings of Edwina or contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s talk about this. I’ve often heard most of us can deal with almost anything for a time. Knowing things will one day get better, if not here on earth, then in heaven, can bring great comfort. How do you hang onto hope when things seem hopeless? Where does our ultimate hope lie? And how can we give hope to others?
Join us at Living by Grace as we talk about clinging to the hope that doesn’t disappoint.
What are your favorite hope-infusing verses? Share them here so someone else in need of an encouraging word can gain peace and strength through God’s unchanging Word.