"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23
"But you promised!" she whined, cross-armed and stomping her little feet. Does this sound familiar? As parents, we encounter this reaction when we've unintentionally disappointed our children with broken promises.
Maybe my mother learned by the time I came along or she knew the sting of broken promises all too well, but she never promised me anything. Rather, when I asked for something big, she'd say, "We'll see." And when I pushed for her for a concrete promise, she retorted, "I never make promises I can't keep."
Thinking about that today, I'm not sure a broken promise here and there would be any more disappointing than hopelessness. What's that saying? Nothing hoped for, nothing gained. When you hope for nothing what does the future matter? What keeps you moving forward, improving, and persevering if there's nothing to look forward to?
When God gives a dream, a desire or a passion it comes wrapped in a promise:
"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6).
God never plants a dream with hopelessness or a "We'll see." He waters our dreams with hope - calling us ever forward - through abiding in Him. It's here, in abiding intimacy that our dreams mature.
For some of us, years pass and dreams remain just that - a dream. Our reality screams hopelessness and we may even shout a cross-armed, foot-stomping, "But, you PROMISED!" heavenward. It's in these moments when we swerve away from home, we must breathe deep, gather our composure and determine to persevere.
Paul says it beautifully in Hebrews 10:35-36:
"So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised."
Perseverance is more than just hanging onto our dreams by a thread; more than tying a knot in the end of our rope. Perseverance means moving forward in the joy of knowing that what you've hoped for, what God promised will be realized, regardless of what our reality paints. It's living out our faith, knowing that we serve a faithful God who always makes good on His promises.
My prayer for you: "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Romans 15:13).
It would be a priviledge to encourage your God-given dreams. Slip me a note (firstname.lastname@example.org), a comment? I'd love to pray with you today.