Hope fills the afflicted soul with such inward joy and consolation, that it can laugh while tears are in the eye, sigh and sing all in a breath; it is called “the rejoicing of hope” (Hebrews 3:6).
Hope. It is the very thing we yearn for after coming to the end of a tumultuous year. In December’s closing we envision the lifting of a heavy darkness heralded by the coming of the infancy and innocence of fresh-faced January. Surely this new year will be better than its predecessor. In it we have renewed anticipation and we tenaciously grasp onto the belief that better days lie ahead.
I am no stranger to adversity. I have danced with it in the darkest hours and sat in its shadows, bathing in the waves of affliction. It is the garment of my soul, rent with the expectations of perseverance and character. And it is so. Weeping serves to purify, washing away the rot carved out by the blade of life’s dagger. The relentless pouring of the tempest drenches me yet hope remains cradled in the warmth and reassurance of promise. It is the dawn of adversity’s hope, kindled by wholehearted trust in the One who alone holds the flame and in whose Spirit makes it alive.
No tempest, no adversity, no affliction can withstand the expectation of His grace. Dance with it, sit with it, embrace it as companion on the road to the long tomorrow. But know that adversity births the hope of a new heart and a new life. The hardest paths, the winding treacherous roads, and the darkest valleys make for a fulfilling journey. The new year approaches and hope does not disappoint. It gifts us the strength to face another day. And we will.
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