A People of Hope

Before I knew God, I thought I was the only broken person. I was under the impression that everyone around me was doing well, and was exempt from the misfortune of brokenness and pain that I seemed to have been unlucky enough to receive. When I finally came to know the Lord, and step into genuine community I realized that we’re all broken in our own ways. Just because no one else’s brokenness looked like mine, didn’t mean they were exempt. However, I still thought that my brokenness was beyond repair. Even with God, I was too far gone to ever be made whole. I believed fully in redemption for the people in my life, that their brokenness didn’t get to have the last say, but in my own life I was giving it the last say instead of trusting God and hoping for and believing for His fullness.

It wasn’t until much later that I came to know the character of God, and understand that no situation is too broken and no situation is hopeless. Through learning this, something I noticed in my life and the lives of those around me is that often times we become hyper-focused on our brokenness, and lose sight of the hope that we get to have in God. I think we should be a people who are hyper-focused on God and His promises, and lose sight of our brokenness. I think we should be a people of hope, not hopelessness.

It’s important for us to look at our circumstances through the lens of our God. Not look at our God through the lens of our circumstances. The moment we place our hope in an outcome is the moment we experience disappointment. But the moment we place our hope in God is the moment we take the first steps towards healing, redemption, and freedom. “This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5)

Looking at the story of the Valley of Dry Bones, Ezekiel exemplifies what is means to be a person of hope in the midst of brokenness. First when God speaks to him and asks “Son of man, can these bones live?” (Ezekiel 37:3) Ezekiel replies and says “Lord, only you know.” Instead of becoming hopeless and immediately saying no, Ezekiel does not assume or claim to know more than God. Often we unintentionally think we know better than God. Regardless of what He may have spoken to us or what the bible tells about our brokenness never being too far gone, we decide that we are the exception and we are too far gone. This is what happens when we lose sight of God and become people of hopelessness. The story then continues and God tells Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones to live, and Ezekiel obeys. Not for a second does he doubt God or tell Him that it’s impossible. Not for a second does Ezekiel lose hope. Without hesitation and filled with hope, he follows God’s command, and speaks to the bones to live and they do. Hope does not disappoint.

The story ends with one of the best examples of redemption through hope. Ezekiel 37:11-12 says, “Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Look how they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope has perished; we are cut off. Therefore, prophesy and say to them: This is what the Lord God says: I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them, My people, and lead you into the land of Israel.” This is why we get to be a people of hope. This is God’s promise. Our brokenness doesn’t get the final say. Our bones aren’t too dried up for Him to open our graves, bring us out of them, and lead us into the more He has for us.

The language used in this verse also sets the stage for the greatest example of redemption of brokenness that has ever occurred. The death of Jesus was one of extreme brokenness resulting in death and an actual grave, but even a brokenness to that extent wasn’t too much for God to redeem. Proof of God’s promise in Ezekiel 37 to open graves and bring us up from them is seen here in the most literal way. He restored Jesus and brought Him from the grave as promised. This is proof that no brokenness is too far gone and no brokenness in final. This is proof that God keeps His promises.
“I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) We get to be people of hope, not people of brokenness. God promises us freedom, and He is a promise keeper. He has started a good work in us, and will see it to completion. If it’s not good, God’s not done. If brokenness is having the final say, it’s not actually final. Hope in God always gets the final say. Hope in God does not disappoint.

Author | Stephanie Stewart





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