This last weekend I went on our women’s retreat for my church which was centered on how we can become anchored in Christ.  We talked about Faith, Hope, and Love.  The three components that will continue to keep us anchored.  What a great weekend it was having fellowship with other godly women and building friendships that will last a lifetime.  It is always good to get away for the weekend to refresh ourselves and refocus on the most important factor of our existence, Jesus Christ.

Out of all three sections that we talked about Hope was the one that intrigued me the most.  It is the one that really got to me especially living in this day and age.  I am constantly seeing the negativity in people these days, whether it be social media, or talking face to face.  People do not see the glass half full anymore, they see the glass empty at all times and it is a sad thing to see.  Hope is dwindling faster than we can act upon it, but everyone should know that there is hope.  Hope is in Jesus Christ.

Hope is the confident expectation of joy.  I know what some of you may be thinking.  It is hard to have hope when there is no end in sight to your pain and struggles.  It is hard to see hope when everything in your life seems to be turned upside down, but we have to change our way of thinking.  Hope doesn’t just mean a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.  We use the word hope incorrectly.  It really means to look forward to a joy that you know you are going to have and that is eternal life.  So in order to have hope you have to have faith.  Faith in a God that He loves you unconditionally.  Faith in a God that knows you better than yourself and stands next to you in every situation.  Knowing that you have eternal life by having faith in our Lord and Savior is that hope.  The hope to keep moving forward.  The hope that no matter what happens in this life that we are working towards our eternal life where there will be no more tears, pain, and suffering.  That is where my hope lies.  It makes it easier to get through every day and every trial and tribulation that comes our way, because no matter what happens I know through my faith that I have hope, and joy that is with Jesus Christ forever.

This is where I want everyone to be including myself.  If you are a non-believer, just be willing to say to Jesus show me if you are real and you can make good on your promises and He will.  He will show you the unconditional love that He has for you and the joy that it provides as you have faith and hope.  And if you are a believer,  to stop and think about the negativity that you may be allowing in your life and re-aligning it with the promises of God.  We need to stop asking where God is and start seeking Him.

God is always with us, especially when we are going through difficult times, but we need to stop and ask what He is doing by allowing us to go through these different situations.  What is He orchestrating?  I can attest by experience that God will always use a bad situation for good, we may just not see it or understand it at the time, but it is the trust, the faith, and the hope that we have in Christ that we know He is a good God.  I often hear that we grow in our relationship with Christ through our brokenness, and through our trials otherwise we get complacent and we may miss the blessings that God has for us as we go through these different trials.  This is so true.  We grow as we learn how to get through our struggles.

So what does it like to stay anchored in hope?

It means we can forgive as Christ forgave us.

We can have joy even through the tough times because we know what the outcome is going to be.  Eternal life.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. – James 1:2-3

We can keep going!

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.  For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.  So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.  All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:8-18

 I don’t know where you are at right now.  Maybe you are in a great place and you are full of hope, and maybe you are going through hard times and hope seems so distant, but just remember there is hope in Jesus Christ.  There is hope knowing that as children of God we know that Jesus has already conquered sin and for that very precious gift, we have a reason to live and live to His glory.  We already know the outcome.  We get to have eternal life!!  So no matter what we go through here on earth we have something spectacular to look forward to.  Hope!!  The confident expectation of Joy!