Hope: What’s Your Version of Hope?

 

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

“A violent hope broke through and shook the ground . . .” (from “For the Cross,” by Bethel Music)

We sang a new-to-me song during our church service this past Sunday.

There was this one line that challenged me to re-think my version of hope.

I never thought about hope being violent.

This word has always struck me as a gentle thing, like a quiet rain falling or a pastel sunrise.

 

But it’s true, isn’t it? Sometimes hope only comes through sacrifice. Hope is not a weak concept only offered to those whose lives are just a little messy.

Hope is that bigger-than-life rescuer that hovers over the darkest situation, waiting to offer light and something to cling to.

Hope has the capacity to lift us right up out of despair. It has the power that enables us to take the next step forward when it feels like the mire of this world is sucking us under.

 

Hope comes from the sacrifice Jesus gave. His death was not a gentle in-his-sleep death. It was brutal, violent, cruel. He sacrificed His life for ours.  And the amazing thing is He did this because He loves us. He did this for every person who’s ever been created.

It’s when we are at the end of ourselves, when we’ve made what seems like inexcusable choices, unforgiveable decisions, when the darkness is all we see . . . Hope is there.

Powerful.

Strong.

We only need to do one thing: accept the truth. The reality of what Jesus has done for us.

 

Isn’t that what we celebrate on Easter? The Resurrection of the God-Man? Death could not hold Jesus in the grave.

And this . . .

THIS . . .

Is what gives us hope.

 

No choice, decision, mistake is beyond the hope of forgiveness. Acceptance. Of the love Jesus offers. The hope He offers came from violence. From sacrifice.

Hope becomes reality–a settling presence–when we turn toward Him with a willingness to trust. When we choose to cling to the truth in His word that Jesus is God.

He lived a sinless life.

He was crucified because of love for us.

And, He rose again.

 

When we cling to this, when we remember that we are loved regardless of what we’ve done? Hope is there, reminding us the work is already finished. The sacrifice made on our behalf. And the depth of love God has for His creation dripped from nail-pierced wrists and feet onto a dirt covered hilltop.

Hope is never a platitude. When we think about what gives us real hope? There’s no room for weakness in our understanding of this word. Hope is powerful. Life-giving. Eternity changing.

As we prepare to celebrate Easter, may it be about more than hunting for Easter eggs with our kids. More even than going to an Easter morning service at church.

 

May we remember the sacrifice borne of love that was made on our behalf. May we remember that Jesus’ violent death gave birth to perfect hope. And this is something we can stand on no matter what we’ve done.

What about you? How do you define hope? How did hope become more than a word to you?

Click to Tweet: Sometimes hope only comes through sacrifice

Today I’m linking up with Holly Barrett’s Testimony Tuesday and the #RaRaLinkup over at Angela Parlin’s place.

 

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27 thoughts on “Hope: What’s Your Version of Hope?

  1. You’ve outdone yourself, Jeanne. This is a wonderful, haunting post, and the pictures are so perfectly chosen…wow. I can recognize real talent when I see it!

    Hope for me is the old and abandoned dog that I take into my arms, and into my home. Hope is the terrible smell that can be washed away, and the sad eyes that can – over time – be loved back into happiness and radiance.

    Hope is rebirth, the second chance, as much for me as for him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love what hope looks like in your life, Andrew. Relationship. Being there. Loving. That, my friend, is meaningful. I love your definitions of hope: Rebirth and second (and for me third and hundredth) chances. I’m praying for you!

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  2. I love this Jeanne, your description of what hope is. Without there is no light to look at but with God we always have hope. My words of hope; Hope is not the closing of our eyes to risk, difficulty or failure. It is the trust that if I fail I will not fail forever;that if I am hurt I shall be healed; that life is good and love is powerful and I shall find myself, and others and God.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Lynn. With God we always have hope. I love your way of defining hope. It is about trusting God, isn’t it? Yes, sometimes we will fail. But, failure and hurt are not the final words. God’s goodness is. Thank you, friend.

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  3. Hi Jeanne, I totally got sucked in by seeing Hope!
    After a long series on the Blog, I have a special affinity for the word.
    I love your description and deep definition
    Happy Easter in advance.
    God Bless

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  4. Thank you for the thoughts on hope. What a powerful word. Romans 5:1-8 mentions hope, one of my favorite passages. “Now hope does not disappoint…” There’s a song I’ve been wanting to write for years, “Hope runs like a river through the valley of my soul…”

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    • Vondelle, Romans 5 is one of my favorite passages on hope. The truth that we will face tribulation and hard things but that we will grow and find our hope in God in the process gives such great encouragement. Those lyrics for your song sound powerful. Write that song! 🙂

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  5. Hope really is powerful! I love this description: “Hope is that bigger-than-life rescuer that hovers over the darkest situation,” and that with God we always have hope, even in situations that would seem completely hopeless without him. Thanks for this reminder that the hope we have comes from the violence of sacrifice. Praying that you have a wonderful Easter, remembering Jesus’ death and celebrating the hope of new life that we have in him.

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    • Lesley there is something amazing in having hope in seemingly hopeless situations, isn’t there? It’s so hard to put words to, but when our hope rests in God there’s great comfort. I pray your Easter is a special one too!

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  6. I just came from Lois’s place,and she was writing about fierce encouragement, and now I’m challenged to violent hope.
    Just goes to show me that God is not into wishy washy emotion or unintentional living. He calls us to a devotion that is all-consuming and fiery!
    Blessings, Jeanne!

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  7. You described hope in depth and gave me a picture of what it looks like. This week always gives me pause in my ordinary life. It causes me to stop and remember, put myself in the place of Jesus and come out on the other side knowing He died for me. It is humbling and awe-inspiring no matter how many times I hear the story.

    Hope is something I turn to often. When the way is unclear or challenges block the way, I turn to God and find that the dream I have is still there because of the hope He provides. These words are ones I will repeat this week —> May we remember that Jesus’ violent death gave birth to perfect hope. Amen! Easter blessings to you and your family.

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    • Mary, I agree. There is something deeply humbling that shifts in me when I pause to think about Jesus’ death and His resurrection. Hubs and I try to watch The Passion each year. As violent as the movie is at times, the powerful display of what Jesus endured for me—for us—reminds me of what powerful love looks like. Like you, I’m thankful for the hope God provides in those times when the way is uncertain. I hope your Easter is a special one, my friend!

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  8. There is such insight here into hope, Jeanne. “May we remember that Jesus’ violent death gave birth to perfect hope.” It’s hard to even put into words what He has suffered for us and how without His violent death, there would be no hope at all. Thank you for reminding us of the sacrifice Jesus made to make hope possible. I pray you have a hope-filled Easter! Love and hugs!

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  9. I love thinking of hope as powerful, strong, violent … maybe even a little fierce? 🙂 Your question at the end made me think of Prov. 13:12–“Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” I definitely experienced that during our years of infertility, but as I think of it now, the hope that was making my heart sick back then was for a particular outcome, not a Person. The hope that we find in Jesus brings joy, not sick hearts! Beautiful thoughts, my friend. And a very happy Easter to you and your family!

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    • Yes, Lois. I think hope can definitely be fierce. I lived Proverbs 13:12 during our years of infertility too. Those years definitely challenged me to think about what my hope was in. And it wasn’t always based in Jesus. I hope you had a great Easter!

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  10. I love this, Jeanne. Such a sweet reminder of hope at Easter. Hope came to me this morning, after being so concerned I was handling our life’s issues so wrong, helping me to realize that maybe I’m handling them all right. If Jesus sweat it, maybe it’s okay that I am too. 🙂

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  11. Jeanne,
    Loved this different view of hope….it may seem like a “fluffy” concept, but as you so vividly pointed out, it is born out of violent death and sacrifice. There is a very high cost to be paid for hope and we are so blessed that Jesus paid that awful, yet beautiful price.
    Easter blessings to you friend,
    Bev xx

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    • Bev, so sorry for the delayed response! It was a crazy week and weekend with Easter and hubs traveling last week. 🙂 You’re right. We are blessed that Jesus paid that horrible, yet beautiful price so we could be with Him. I hope you have a great Easter. So thankful for you!

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