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Looking for Joy in Hope

Looking for Joy in Hope

Looking for Joy in Hope

Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
— John 16:24

This post has been one of the ones I have left until last.  It seemed like a simple enough post to write - the message seems like simple arithmetic: ask + receive = joy. 


So why has it been left until last?


Truthfully, there hasn’t been a lot of things that I have been consciously, specifically, asking God for this month.  Of course there have been some things, but in response to the blank cheque question: where do you want to co-partner with Me? Where do you specifically want to see heaven invade earth? I haven’t really believed the cheque has got my name on it.


I have been overwhelmed by the future, by co-leading a team of many, by getting into a rhythm of homeschooling the boys again, by dealing with life after a miscarriage and at times by pushing through and committing to writing these joy posts trusting God will provide something to say.  

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer
— Romans 12:12

I think one of the reasons I haven’t asked God for much this month, is that I am lacking joy in hope.  Today I sat and cried to a stranger (don’t worry, there is nothing like tears to turn a stranger into a friend!) It was about something I didn’t even really knew bothered me until the tears began to flow. I think the tears were a recognition that I am not embracing hope right now.  I am instead embracing fears and being overwhelmed and wondering if what we are doing here is an act of presumption rather than faith.


More than ever before I am lacking confidence that I am doing more good than damage to people’s lives.  When I actually look at the fruit in the lives of others I know that this is a ridiculous lie from the enemy, but it makes me realize that investing in others is an act of faith because I cannot control the results.  


But isn’t it true that faith so often looks crazy? Isn’t believing that God will take our human efforts and transform them and redeem them into something beautiful the whole point of our faith? Isn’t having the courage to believe that the little I do will make a huge difference a defying act of faith in the face of discouragements? The enemy wants us to believe that we can’t make a difference, that our investment in others will be a waste and all that I can hold up in the face of that accusation is a tiny, potential-filled but pathetic looking seed of hope.  


Hope tells me that God is not finished with me yet. 

Hope tells me that sowing in love is never in vain. 

Hope tells me that those little acts of faith God sees and counts. 

Hope tells me that what I plant today will at some point spring to life into something ultimately fruitful, I just need to be patient.  

Hope tells me to keep going, one foot in front of the other and focus on today - patiently, joyfully giving up thanks for the past hopes which are now sprouting, budding and giving fruit.  


So you know what I’m asking God for on that blank cheque of ‘ask and receive and your joy will be complete?’ - Today, I’m asking for joy in hope.  

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
— Hebrews 12:2

Let’s put on joy together. 

What are you hoping for? Is it filling you with fear or joy right now? Take a moment to give it to God and ask Him to fill you with joyful confidence whilst you are waiting. 

May you find joy in hope today.  This is Day 16 of a 21 Day challenge to put on joy in practical ways.  You can receive these posts by email by clicking to sign up here.

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