I’m thankful that hope is so stubborn. If it wasn’t, I think I’d be a goner. In spite of how many times circumstances tempt me to throw in the towel, I find that entity of hope again popping to the surface and eventually taking over.
Oh, I’ve tried to resist. I’ve let discouraging thoughts smother the “noble, lovely and praiseworthy.” I’ve listened to the whispers of failure more times than I care to remember. I’ve allowed the voice of disappointment become louder than any painting by Edvard Munch (“The Scream”). But with the predictability of a Hallmark movie, I find that after all my rants and raves, hope stands there quietly waiting. She penetrates my protests with undeniable assurance that it’s gonna’ be okay.
It’s a God-thing, of course. Scripture compares hope to an anchor (Hebrews 6:19). It attaches us to what is really real. To what is solid. It causes hearts that would otherwise go adrift in life-crushing breakers to dig in to the truth.
Abraham learned this. Although he didn’t start out that way, he somehow arrived at that place which required him to “hope against hope.” He had been given big promises…promises accompanied by big delays. Delays that stretched him, that pushed him to the edge, that most certainly disheartened him, for “hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12). But in spite of all the waffling doubts…he kept hoping.
The stubborn nature of hope arose every time he looked at the brilliance of the night—a night that echoed what God had spoken to him, “I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky” (Genesis 26:4). When he walked in the endless desert sand he was reminded that God said, “I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted” (Genesis 13:16). Whenever he heard his new name, “Abraham,” hope took him back to the time when God told him he would be the “father of many nations” (Genesis 17:5). Hope bound him so tightly to the word of God that it yielded the indomitable substance we call faith.
It will do the same for us. So go ahead. Give in to the stubbornness of hope.