The struggle is a door, and inside God waits. If you are willing to walk through the portal, you find what you could not experience deeply any other way. The gospel comes to life there. The power to forgive yourself and everybody else . . .
A crack at discovering the way God actually redeems what seems irredeemable . . . the hope of seeing him create a new ending out of a bad beginning.
This movement from expectations to disillusionment to a different sort of hope is a spiritual rite of passage, I’ve discovered. Hope is the golden stuff that draws us along on this journey. It keeps us alive on the inside so we can actually taste and experience the wonder of belonging to God. The richness of his mercy. A power to love that is not our own. Hope is a container God shapes in your heart where faith and love can be stored—and then generously offered to others.
On some unconscious level, I projected my present into the future and squared the whole equation. The journey itself, though, is often not what we expect. It can be full of detours and potholes and narrow paths. Or perhaps I should say that God has a different sort of wonderful than the one we have in mind.
God wants to bless us. That’s the first idea. Because He can’t resist giving us the highest good, He’s determined to give us an encounter with Himself. It’s the greatest blessing He can think of. It’s the highest dream. But we don’t view things that way. So God goes to work to help us see more clearly. One way He works is to allow our lower dreams to shatter. He lets us hurt and doesn’t make it better. We suffer and He stands by and does nothing to help, at least nothing that we’re aware we want Him to do. In fact, what He’s doing while we suffer is leading us into the depths of our being, into the center of our soul where we feel our strongest passions. It’s there that we discover our desire for God. We begin to feel a desire to know Him that not only survives all our pain, but actually thrives in it until that desire becomes more intense than our desire for all the good things we still want. Through the pain of shattered lower dreams, we wake up to the realization that we want an encounter with God more than we want the blessings of life. And that begins a revolution in our lives.
This hope is a daring seed that you plant with prayer again and again, because this is the way your life yields more joy.
Love is complicated and the simplest thing in the world. And when you know the embrace of His love in a thousand ways, daring to hope becomes the way you breathe.
Living radical isn’t about where you live; it’s about how you love. How you love the beauty of Him, how you love His beautiful people. When your heart decides to move into God, you are always given what you’re really hoping for: more of God.
Daring to hope for big things isn’t about having extraordinary faith; it’s about being faithful in the small, ordinary things. It’s about leaning into the next right thing and finding what you’ve always hoped for: His shoulder to lean on, His arms to carry all, His heart to be your home. Radical living, radical loving, radical hoping, isn’t as much about where you move but about a life of gazing into the face of Jesus—and letting Him move you where you are. He may move you somewhere across the world. Or he may move you to believe again, to dare again, to reach out again. But if the steadying love of Christ moves you, it will move you out into the world with the bravest hope. He will move you to hope for what seem like impossible things, because His closeness is your most cherished thing. Too often we want clarity and God wants us to come closer.