Thursday, January 16, 2014

Romans 8:24-28

"For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:24-28


 It is so easy to lose hope in this world.  So many things can fog our minds, making us think that we're worthless or that our goals will never be achieved.  It's easy to think that we should just give up or give in, or not get up and try again... what is the point, if we are just going to continue to fail?  ... But there IS a point, and the act of trying again is a triumph.  It is strength and hope and resilience, and we're learning all the time.  Sometimes we have to learn to deal with the darkness, and how to find the light again... so that we can always know the way, and show others.  Lehi's dream, for instance, started out with a dark and dreary waste.  Joseph Smith's first vision started out with an attack from an unseen evil.  As we encounter good in life, we also learn how to deal with evil and bleakness and despair.
These verses offer some advice in that area.  We have to hope without sight... hoping in something that we are certain of isn't really hope anymore, right?  But if we hope anyway, then we can get through that dark waiting period until our hope is realized. :)  And even when we can't articulate what we need, our spirits can communicate our needs to God.  He knows when we're in despair and when we need him, even if we can't say it.  The last verse of the selection is jam-packed with hope, actually.  All things work together for good to people who love God and are called to his purpose.  ... And probably, if we are reading these words, we qualify.  People who love God, who are willing to read and listen to his words and try to do them... and we know that even if we just have a desire to serve, we are called to the work.  So, for all of us, all things work together for our good.  That's pretty cool.  And no, it isn't a cure-all, and it won't drive the darkness away all on its own.  But it does mean that the darkness is part of the lesson, and not just a purposeless fight.  And that getting up and trying again is the whole point, as we learn to be stronger and more resilient.  And we also know that the darkness can't last.  It is a challenge, but as we find our way to God, and stick with him, no darkness can stand before him.  We will find the way, and everything will be better.  Up in verse 18 of this same chapter it says "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."  ... I really like that.  Our suffering, though it seems harsh and dark now, will seem like a mirage when we get through this life.  Might not make it more fun right now... but still good to know that all of the darkness will be washed away by the brightness of the future.
Today, let's cling to hope.  Let's have some faith in God that he will help us through whatever he asks of us... like getting through today. :)  Let's remember the light, and even if we can't see it now, let's pray for it and seek it with all that we are.

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