Don’t Get Your Hopes Up, But . . .

anchor-1015403_640Don’t get your hopes up.

Has anyone ever told you that? Sounds like wise counsel and, it probably is.

I heard it a lot growing up. I was a little girl serving a big God in a small town, ironically named Hope Valley, most often referred to by locals as “Hopeless Valley.”

Despite the fact that our state motto is “Hope,” Rhode Islanders have embraced a certain bitter cynicism that passes as common sense.

I could easily join their knowing ranks. I, too, could let circumstances, losses, dire predictions, and my own smallness, inspire me to lay my hope down.

Hope is not a light thing.

It only seems light to those who have only had to hold it up for a short time. But the longer one stands with arms upraised so that hope remains high, the more one understands the heft of hope.

God called me, early on, to be that girl with her fist in the air.

To be one of those who defy the enemy by refusing to let hope fall to the ground and lie there like a lifeless thing.

For my hope is alive. And my hope is high because my hope is Jesus Christ.

The enemy wants my story to be one of high hopes lowered and crushed in the dust of relentless circumstances, but I was written for another story –

One of hope held high like a flag besieged on a battlefield that quickens the heart of every warrior who catches a glimpse of its colors waving and knows the battle is already won.

Do you doubt my hope?

Know this: God placed a writer with a heart for Him in a town called Hope Valley in a state whose motto is hope and whose symbol is an anchor.

Hebrews 6: 17-20 says this: “So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”

When you see this girl with her fist raised, know that that is my defiance of the one who seeks to dash our hopes to the ground. It’s my way of saying to other warriors on the field, “Keep your hopes up for our hope s alive and will be forever.”

Amen? Oh yeah. Amen.


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3 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Lynn Morrissey says:

    Thank you so much, Lori! I needed to read this today, because one’s arms can also feel the weight of despair when lifted up high, in pleas to God for things to change. The arms can feel unbearably heavy, then, too, when He does not seem to fill them with hope. So much is going on for me, personally, where I don’t have hope about God’s purposes for me, but moreover, despair over my very ill brother whose wife of 30 years is abandoning him through a nasty divorce. My brother is desperate with grief. I long for God to give him and us, who love him, hope. And as you suggest, this request is really a quest for more of God, more of Christ, for the God of all hope. So, though my arms feel heavy not with hope, but rather helplessness, perhaps this is when God sends a harbinger of hope like you, like an Aaron, like a Hur, to come alongside and lift someone else’s arms when hers are dropping. And, in turn, perhaps, as I gain strength, perhaps I can help lift my brother’s arms, as I plead with the only One who can give him hope. Thanks for a blessed, soul-stirring post!

  2. Oh Lori! You have no idea how much your hope inspires me. It is such a blessing to share the journey with you. Hope on!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Lori very inspiring post. I totally understand the Hope Valley comments. I lived in Wyoming and was is Hope Valley every day. May our Great God use you in the Valley of Hope to bring hope to those that live there.
    Cherrilynn Ryerson Bisbano