Finding Hope in Expectant Hope

I have a friend who is fighting a tough battle with cancer, and today she has a new appointment with a new doctor in a new place for a new round of hope in her future.

I often don’t know what to say to someone else who is fighting a battle, but it’s just in my God-given nature (truly, not of my natural self) to pray that people never give up hope. So, I do.

Wondering hope leaves us wondering.
Expectant hope leaves us expecting.

There’s a huge difference between these kinds of hopes, and my prayer is that she can find even more expectant hope through her trial—more than she’s already had to muster up in all phases of this years-long journey.

“Expectant hope is powerful and never wasted.”

Those were some of the words I shared with her this morning as she reached out to her friends on social media before her appointment.


We’re all battling something. 

Maybe it’s cancer.
Maybe it’s abuse.
Maybe it’s racism.
Maybe it’s not being understood.
Maybe it’s legal trouble.
Maybe it’s prison.
Maybe it’s anger.
Maybe it’s pornography.
Maybe it’s bankruptcy.
Maybe it’s pride.
Maybe it’s worthiness.
Maybe it’s food.
Maybe it’s smoking.
Maybe it’s our boss.
Maybe it’s our wayward child.
Maybe it’s our church.
Maybe it’s shattered dreams.
Maybe it’s loneliness.
Maybe it’s fear.
Maybe it’s our past.
Maybe it’s self.

Wondering hope leaves us wondering.
Expectant hope leaves us expecting.

My encouragement to you today (and it’s a needed encouragement to my own self-talk, too), is to stop wondering and start expecting. Expectant hope is powerful and never wasted, especially when you stop hoping in the circumstance, and begin hoping in That which is greater than the circumstance.

 


 

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About the original blog owner

This Hope Surrendered address was originally a WordPress blog and was the idea of another hope-filled person whose identity is different than the current writer of this Hope Surrendered.

I had been putting ideas together for Hope Surrendered in 2012, and I began writing as Hope Surrendered in other places in early 2013. Shortly thereafter, I found myself praying about the possibility of having a website with the same name. An internet search led me to realize the name was available everywhere except for on WordPress, where there was a blogger with the Hope Surrendered name. Very disappointed, I dropped the website idea thinking it was probably impossible to use the Hope Surrendered name.

But…the whole Hope Surrendered idea was one I felt had been planted within me, not something I came up with on my own. Some would call it “destiny,” but for me it was a calling. Despite my disappointment in the not being able to fully own and use the name even though I had been using it in other places, the website idea just never went away.

When I (the current writer here) found her (the original writer) on WordPress, I was amazed at how a lot of our thoughts were similar. Because the website idea just would not go away for me, I decided to try to talk with her about it. She (the original WordPress writer) didn’t have any contact information listed on her blog, but she did allow comments to be made, so I commented on her posts and asked her to contact me. Knowing it had been about two years since she had posted, I didn’t really expect a reply. BUT…she did reply. I then asked her to prayerfully consider if she was interested in continuing to blog as Hope Surrendered at WordPress, but if she wasn’t interested, I asked her if she would consider allowing me to own the name on WordPress that I had been using elsewhere on the web for quite some time.

She did pray about it. She then consented and very graciously turned the name of the WordPress blog over to me. I believe the Lord was working in both of us through this, and I feel blessed to have connected with her to discuss my ideas with her. After she removed herself from the name, I, in turn, shifted her original site to a dot.com, changed the format and have continued as Hope Surrendered. If you visit Facebook or Twitter, the Hope Surrendered there is me, and has always been me. With the exception of the writings directly below, all of the other writings on this website are from me.

As a tribute to her and in appreciation for her willingness to allow me to fully own the name and site, I felt it was imperative to keep her original writings here as a part of this site’s history. So many of us are hope-filled and trying to live a life of surrendering our hopes to the Lord. The original Hope Surrendered spent time “finding hope in surrender” through her walk and her writings; today, I am also living my life by surrendering my hopes to the promise of finding something even better.

So, as a tribute to the first Hope Surrendered WordPress author, here are her foundational writings from early 2011:

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ABOUT THE ORIGINAL HOPE SURRENDERED (as written by the original Hope Surrendered in 2011)

This blog is all about lasting fulfillment.

Fulfillment that comes from trading in your life for Christ’s.

Chew on that for a while. Trading your life.

Trading your grief, your racing thoughts. Trading your loneliness, your most bitter failures. Trading your fears, your handicaps. Trading your accomplishments, your friends. Trading your hobbies, your reputation. Trading your time, your love.

What is lasting fulfillment? Seizing the opportunity for the Author of the universe write you an incredible life story, no matter how it reads up until this point. You can have joy. You were born to make an impact that will matter long after you die. You were painstakingly created. Your Lord is greater than anything your mind can fathom. Oswald Chambers once said, “Tell God you are ready to be offered, and God will prove himself to be everything you ever dreamed He would be.” Trust me, He can, He does, and He will.

I know that it can be a confusing, joyful, and, yes, a painful process to trade in your current life for a different one. I know you’re a little unsure. I know that you’re now debating whether it’s worth giving up your comfort for joy and freedom. But I know the process is worth it, every step of the way. Every tear, every laugh, every shout, every prayer is leading you towards your ultimate reward of knowing the Lord.

I pray that you will take a chance on God. Take the chance that his promises that are “pure, like silver refined in a furnace” (Psalm 12:6). Oh, and…”When [you ask, you] must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:6-7).

If you are ready to be offered and ready to be rid of your old life, then by all means, offer yourself with abandon and determination. He will always prove Himself faithful to those who call on His name.

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OTHER RESOURCES (compiled by the original Hope Surrendered in 2011)

If you’re wondering more about what it means to abandon your life to Christ, or if you’re looking to grow in your faith, here are some great books and movies that can tell you more about the incredible joy and sacrifice involved in living God’s way for God’s purposes.

1. The Bible. Seems obvious, but this will always be the best and only necessary place to learn about Truth. Don’t be afraid to ask others for help with interpreting passages! A word of caution, however: the Bible continually warns about false teachers (people who claim to speak the Truth but who distort it so that they are really not serving Christ). Don’t fear! Read 1 John 4:1-6 to learn how to see if someone speaks the Truth. Acts 5:29-29 can also be helpful. However, you can be discerning without being judgmental. As humans, we are created equal. We are made righteous only because Christ bore our punishment. In other words, you can not do anything to make yourself better than anyone else, at least when it comes to God’s standards (which is perfection). We all fall short. So, as you learn to test people’s interpretations of the Bible (including mine!), keep in mind that they may not even be aware that they have also been deceived. In love and with sincere compassion for them, work together to find the Truth.

2. Radical by David Platt. A practical book that bravely and loudly proclaims the intensity of true surrender to Christ.

3. Authentic Beauty by Leslie Ludy. A great book about dating for girls. It reveals that we must first seek our Heavenly Prince before we can find a fulfilling love story with an earthly prince. I also recommend any other book by Eric and Leslie Ludy!

4. The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. An incredible story of the faith and love of this woman and her family who sheltered Jews in their home during WWII until they were discovered and sent to concentration camps.

5. Shadow of the Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot. A true story of the radical abandonment of a group of missionaries to Christ and their fellow-man.

6. The Small Woman by Alan Burgess. Another story of the courage and love shown by a single missionary woman to China.

7. Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman. An inspiring, comforting, year-long daily devotional for people going through trying times. Filled with writings and poems by a great variety Christians.

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THE POEM  from Feb. 26, 2011 (written by the original Hope Surrendered)

Dear friends, God has worked through this poem so many times in my life. When I start to second-guess my surrender to Him; when my old self tries to scream, “This isn’t fair!”; and when I forget what my King did for me, this poem assures me, quiets me, and reminds me…He is the only one who can make the suffering of this world worth while.

There is a peace that springs soon after sorrow,

Of hope surrendered, not of hope fulfilled;

A peace that does not look upon tomorrow,

But calmly on the storm that it has stilled.

A peace that lives not now in joy’s excesses,

Nor in the happy life of love secure;

But in the unerring strength the heart possesses,

Of conflicts won while learning to endure.

A peace there is, in sacrifice secluded,

A life subdued, from will and passion free;

It’s not the peace that over Eden brooded,

But that which triumphed in Gethsemane.

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