Week 42 Saturday

Expectant Hope

Today’s scripture selection: Hebrews 11-13

Key verses: Hebrews 11:1-2

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.”

Have you ever thought about the different kinds of hope?

There’s a sort of “wish for the best” kind of hope…

“I sure hope I find some way out of this mess I’m in.”

There’s a sort of “wishful thinking” hope…

“I hope somebody…anybody…asks me to the dance…”

There’s a sort of “go ahead and hope – but do everything you can to make sure what you want to happen happens” kind of hope…

“Well, of course I hope I get the job…but may the best person for the job win.  By the way, have I shown you what my last boss said about the project I supervised back when I was with…?”

Then there is Biblical hope.

It has nothing to do with wishing for the best or wishful thinking or stacking the odds in your favor.  It has everything to do with faith in a loving, living, acting God.

It is a hope that is based in the secure knowledge that God cares about you, and yours – even while God equally cares about the rest of the universe, and everyone in it.

It is a hope that trusts that somehow – miraculously – God balances things just right.  And, according to His will, a plan is executed that is fair – and caring – and instructive for us all.

That’s the kind of hope I want at the center of my life.

That’s the kind of hope I want to place my trust in, because it allows me to do what I can – and leave the rest to God.

How about you?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I trust you with my life.  May the actions I take be in accordance with your will, so that my deepest, greatest hopes are fulfilled.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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