What does hope *really* look like?

Hebrews 6:19 “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (NIV)

I must admit, I don’t have a lot of experience at hoping. I have described myself as a realist for much of my life, but in the words of the movie, Hitch, I’m probably more of “…a realist masquerading as a cynic who deep down is really an optimist.” Deep down, where it really matters, I’m an incredibly hopeful person. But I’m learning that I’ve buried that hope under so many layers of self protection, disappointment, and beliefs about unworthiness.

A brother, a good man, who I have known for many years called me recently. When you’re involved in a ministry like Unbound, you’re never quite sure exactly why someone is calling you out of the blue, but it’s usually safe to guess that’s it may not be just to catch up.

He shared with me the battle he is currently fighting (an old one rearing its head again) and the allies he has around him (virtually none) and what he wants to do about it (asking me for a recommendation for a good counselor). And like many of these phone calls before, the overwhelming sense from the other end of the phone line was hopelessness. We spoke for a while and I suggested a few places for him to start – most importantly with believing that there is hope for him and his situation.

I’ve said for years now that I believe what Unbound is truly offering men and women around the world is a message of hope. I am convinced that in the midst of trauma and suffering, we humans simply forget that we can choose hope. Sometimes that hope is a beautiful landscape, a stunning sunset, a long forgotten song, a word from our Father, a verse that leaps off the page anew from Scripture. And so, so, so often, a kind word from a fellow man.

In the words of another dear brother, “It would be a grave mistake to underestimate the impact you have had on other’s lives.” That is true for each and every one of us!

Who is in your life today that may simply need a word of hope spoken over them? And what words of hope does your heart need to hear? I believe we all drastically underestimate the impact and the importance of the words that God speaks to us through others. When someone offers you encouragement, praise, empathy…do you discard it offhand or do you receive it with open arms and give it the weight it deserves?

Back to the man who called me. About a week later he left a long message for me. A beautiful message about the beginnings of restoration, recommitted relationships, and newfound hope for the future. Thank you, Jesus!

Hope truly is an anchor for each of our souls to withstand the wind and waves of whatever our next season of becoming brings.