Faith, Hope

Hope: A Violent Hope

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

“Hallelujah it is finished . . . 

We thank You for the cross.”

“A violent hope shook the ground . . .”

I was standing with our church family, singing this song some weeks back. We’ve worshiped the Lord many times through this song. But on this particular morning, these phrases caught me. Turned my brain around a bit.

I never thought about hope being violent. The word “hope” has always struck me as a gentle thing, like a quiet, steady rain falling, or a pastel sunrise.

But it’s true. Sometimes hope only comes through sacrifice. 

Hope is not a weak concept, something only given to those whose lives are troubled.

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

Hope lifts us out of despair, enables us to take the next step forward.

Hope comes from the work Jesus did. His death was not a gentle death. It was brutal. Violent. Cruel.

He sacrificed His life for ours in the most agonizing way possible. And the amazing thing is? He did this out of love. For us. He died for everyone, whether or not people choose to accept His gift of love.

It’s when we are at the end our ourselves, when we’ve made what seem like inexcusable choices, unforgivable decisions . . . 

When darkness is all we can see . . . 

That Hope is present.

Powerful.

Strong.

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

The reality that Jesus is with us. Through every circumstance. Every loss. Every regret.

No choice, decision, or mistake is beyond the hope of forgiveness . . .

Beyond the acceptance and love Jesus extends.

The hope He offers came from violence. Sacrifice. 

But for us, hope becomes beauty, peace, grace.

Hope becomes reality—a settling presence—when we turn toward Jesus in trust.

We have to choose to embrace Hope—the One who carved a way out of the darkness.

Hope comes in knowing that the work of the cross is finished. And His gift is offered to all who choose to believe Him and the story of His gospel.

What about you? What is the most surprising thing about hope to you? When has hope lifted you from a dark place?

Click to Tweet: Hope is not a weak concept, something only given to those whose lives are troubled.

I’m linking up with #RaRaLinkup, #TellHisStory, and. Holley Gerth

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46 thoughts on “Hope: A Violent Hope”

  1. Una salus victis nullam sperare salutem,
    or so the Romans said;
    to face death with resolution,
    see yourself already dead.
    Let go of all you cherish
    and the dreams you hold so dear,
    gird your soul to perish,
    the last casting-off of fear.
    Perhaps you’ll meet Achilles,
    with Hector by his side,
    and there will stand Ulysses
    with a horse for you to ride.
    And ride you will to Heaven, through the shining gate
    where waits your nail-scarred Saviour, author of your fate.

    (‘Una salus victis nullam sperare salutem’ translates best as ‘the only hope of the doomed is not to hope for safety’; it’s a maxim I find quite useful in these fell days.)

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    1. This is a beautiful poem, Andrew. It does seem like hope sometimes requires us to let go of everything. I think the good thing about letting go is that it frees our hands to reach out to Jesus. Not to hope for safety . . . there are things more important than safety, aren’t there?

      You’ve made me think yet again, Andrew. thank you for that. I so appreciate you, my friend. And, I’m praying for you.

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  2. These are beautiful reflections, Jeanne! I have never thought of hope as “violent” but I love that description. Hope is certainly powerful and something that often requires great strength. I think of the description of Abraham in Romans where it says “even when there was no reason for hope Abraham kept on hoping”- that might not be the exact quote but it definitely highlights that hope is not for the weak!

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    1. Thank you, Lesley! Even though my One Word last year was Hope, I’m still learning and grappling with the broader concept. Thank you for sharing that verse about Abraham from Romans. I haven’t thought about that in a long time. And yes, hope is not for the weak! Thanks for sharing your reflections here, my friend!

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  3. I love the encouragement that hope is for all of us. Sometimes it’s easy to think that hope is only for the extremes — those who are completely desperate or full of joy all the time. But God is in the middle places with each of us.

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    1. Rebecca, I’m with you…so very thankful for hope’s encouragement! I think we need to live in hope every day. I wonder if, when we do that, this is what enables us to hold onto hope when those extremes hit our lives. I love what you said about God being in the middle places with each of His kids. Great truth here!

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  4. Jeanne, this is the 2nd post this morning I have read on “Hope”. Your thoughts are beautiful. This spoke to my heart: “We have to choose to embrace Hope—the One who carved a way out of the darkness.” Amen! He has already made a way out of the darkness and now the choice is ours. So grateful I can choose to go with Hope every day!

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    1. Linda, I never thought about that . . . that we tend to romanticize that which we need most. That’s a quick reality check. 🙂 And yes, the cost Jesus paid so we can have hope? It’s a gift, as well as a humbling reality.

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  5. Beautiful J! I had to look up how many times hope is mentioned in the bible — 129 time. It’s a choice, I am learning, to keep hope within ones’ heart. Hope is trusting no matter the circumstances. It’s the hope that the fruit of the Spirit within us and God’s love for us prevails over all else. I can struggle wanting my circumstances to be different, yet trusting His guidance, hopeful of Him changing my heart to be more Christ-like with each step, is where I want my hope to lie these days. Learning to trust…!

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    1. I loved your words here, Lynn. I didn’t realize Hope was mentioned in the Bible that many times. It must be kind of important to God, huh? 😉 I love your defining of hope and the expression of living it out each day. I want my hope to lie in Christ continually. Unswervingly. It’s a choosing, and a learning, don’t you think?

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  6. Awesome Word Sister!! I have found hope in the dark times when I focus on Gods calling on my life. I reflect on people like Joseph who went through many trials and yet God was with him through it all…. God Bless!!

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    1. Thanks so much for the visit, Stephen! God is good to remind us of those things that help us keep hope alive. And I love the example Joseph’s life offers in walking out hope through hardship.

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  7. My relationship with Jesus has always been with the God man who overturned the temple tables. My childhood was more marked by violence than flannel graph; I was only more recently able to accept his peace as well as his power. This is an excellent blog; I look forward to hearing more from you!

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    1. Candice, I’m sorry your childhood was so difficult. I am grateful that God knows how to reach out to each of us so authentically. Learning to accept all the different facets of God is a process, I think. We’re all on the road to learning how to love Him and be loved more fully by Him. Thanks for your kind words, and for stopping by! I look forward to getting to know you better too. 🙂

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  8. Jeanne, I love the idea of “violent hope” as you’ve described it. Isn’t it cool when a song phrase that you’ve never really noticed out and grabs your heart like that? 🙂

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  9. Beautiful thoughts on hope! I kept going back to Romans 5:3-5 as I read your words. Hope is God-driven but it also comes when we have gone through life’s deepest valleys. My son is writing about hope for my blog this Sunday so your words are fresh and full of expectancy just as his are. We can rest assured that hope is the result of the Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. We are redeemed and saved.

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    1. Romans 5:3-5 is one of my favorite passages on Hope, Mary. And yes, hope is God-driven. I guess we learn how to walk in it as we navigate the valleys, don’t we? How exciting that your son is also sharing about hope! The more I ponder hope, the more I understand that it is interwoven with the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross to offer us the gift of salvation.

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  10. Wow – I, too, never thought about hope being “violent,” but I see this! Hope, faith, love… all are “all in,” and that requires the utmost.

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  11. It’s true, Jeanne, Jesus won for us a powerful hope and paid an exorbitant and violent price for it. I never considered this concept in quite this way. The more we ponder the sacrifice of Jesus, the more there is to behold. Thank you for this!

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    1. You’re right, Melissa. Jesus’ victory for us is so multi-faceted. Like you, the more I ponder Jesus’ sacrifice and His love for us, the more humbled I am, and the more I realize I still have to understand. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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    1. Lisa, you’re right. Isn’t it amazing that God can bring good from the ashes? I am so thankful that hope in Him is a steadfast reassurance. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, my friend!

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  12. This is such a beautiful perspective on hope, Jeanne. How true it is that “The hope He offers came from violence. Sacrifice.” What an incomprehensible wonder that because of His violent sacrifice, hope becomes for us “beauty, peace, grace.” Thank you for deepening the meaning of hope! As always, I love your photos! They always refresh my heart with renewed hope. 🙂 Love and blessings of hope to you!

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    1. Claudio, sometimes, when circumstances feel too big—too bad—we really have to look for and choose to believe there is hope, don’t we? Yes, God gives us hope, and the prayer and patience you mention can help us to keep hoping in God when nothing makes sense. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  13. “Hope is not a weak concept.” I love this phrase. So much truth in it. Hope is strong, strong enough to pull us out of our pit when life has strangled us. I have experienced many hopelessness moments in my life, but God’s word always pulls me out, keeps my foot from slipping. What a beautiful post, Jeanne!

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  14. Jeanne, just reading that fills my heart with hope! I am a bit heartbroken and discouraged by the New York ruling on abortion at 9 months, so it is good to remember that we have a strong hope even in a dark world. Thank you.

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    1. Awww, thanks, Betsy! I was so disheartened to read that piece of news too. It’s truly heartbreaking. But you’re right, sometimes hope is the one thing that does bring light to a dark world. Thank you for your visit!

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