Isabella is being dedicated at our church in just a couple of weeks. I am excited at the thought and effort they put into child dedication. They sent us a packet of information when we signed up, and one of the pages included verse ideas for Parent/Child Dedication. (It's actually a Child Dedication/Parent Commitment Service.) They ask parents to choose a "promise verse" that will be prayed over the child at the service.
Last night, I was reading through the verse ideas to see if anything struck a chord with me. They list a passage from Romans 12, which is to me one of the most practical chapters in the Bible. I have always been drawn to it. The passage listed includes verse 12, "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." (NIV)
Joyful in hope. Joyful in hope. I listen to a lot of Matt Chandler sermons, so I can't remember exactly where I heard this one. I think it was somewhere in the Luke series. He said that hope can only be present where something is lacking. If there is hope, that also means there is hurt, pain, something missing. That is obviously an overriding theme for the follower of Jesus - we are always longing for the day we will see Him. The pain of this world is a reminder that we are not home yet.
In many smaller ways, I hold onto hope every single day. I hope that God will bring healing where I have wounded. I hope for freedom and perseverance for those I love who are stuck in difficult situations. I hope to see God do amazing things in me, in my family, in my friends. Unfortunately, I can't always use the word joyful to describe my hope. How about...
That is not an impressive list of adjectives. I really need God to bring joy to my hope. I may have to wait a long time to see these hopes and many others be realized.
God isn't as concerned with the "resolution" to my trials as He is with who I am becoming in the midst of them.