Writers can be quietly optimistic amidst their seasons of doubt. It is that hope of success that helps make the daily slog a little easier.
I reflected on hope by finding a few inspirational quotes:
Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.
― Desmond Tutu
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.
― Emily Dickinson
Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.
― Thich Nhat Hanh
Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…
― Alfred Tennyson
The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.
― Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams
“Where there’s life, there’s hope.”
― Theocritus (c.270 BC)
Despite the beauty of these words and sentiment, in my mind, they pale by comparison with these words:
The Lord is all you have, and so in him you put your hope. There is nothing that God cannot do. You will live secure and full of hope; God will protect you and give you rest. Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times. His power at work in you can do far more than you dare ask or imagine.
Remember that I have commanded you to be determined and confident! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go. I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.
Adapted from Lamentations 3:24; Luke 1:37; Job 11:18; Romans 12:12; Ephesians 3:20; Joshua 1:9; Jeremiah 29:11
Therefore, hope. But hope not in your own success. Place hope in the belief that your obedience to God’s calling will bring him glory and honor in all that you do.
John de Sousa
Amen! We have a living hope!
Love this! Thanks,Steve.
My favorite verse kept the darkness back just enough to make it to the dawn.
Thanks for the reminder…
Damon J. Gray
When I was in seminary, one of our professors was talking about giving people hope, and he said something profound that has stuck with me for more than 30 years. While I cannot quote him directly, it ran something like this:
Hope is the most powerful of all the emotions. You give a person hope, and they will not jump; just the slightest bit of hope, and they will not pull the trigger.
Love this one, Damon. I’m saving it to remind me of how little it can take to make a difference for someone.
Damon, I agree that hope is powerful, but I do believe that it’s surpassed by discipline. Hope can look for the light, but discipline will be content to fight to the end in darkness.
Leonidas’ three hundred had no remotely rational hope, but retreat was unthinkable. They changed the world; they left a legacy forged in blood and bronze and carried through the ages in letters of flame.
Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,
that here, obedient to their laws, we lie.
Damon J. Gray
Andrew, I will not disagree that discipline is foundational to success in many endeavors, however, I do not believe discipline to be an emotion. That said, the Leonidas example is a potent one!
Love this post, Steve. Hope means keeping your eyes on the road ahead instead of constantly looking in the rearview mirror. Paul nailed it for us.
But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:13-14, ESV)
Una salus victis nullam sperare salutem.
Translated as “The only hope for the doomed, is no hope at all.” from Virgil’s AENEID.
Amen. Thank you, Steve.
Please try your best not to use our blog as a place for condemnation of another.
Healthy debate is welcome. Understanding first, is even more welcome.
Andrew is dying of a painful disease. Literally.
Therefore I believe his words, taken out of context, can be misunderstood. I don’t think he was writing a theological treatise with precision of language. He was trying to express the fact that he struggles each day.
The blog today is meant as one of encouragement to writers. Not a statement of theological interpretation.
Steve, I waited for hours after reading the comment with great disbelief. I wanted to give someone else a chance, particularly you, to take issue with the exaltation of a human being over God. I know no other name for it than blasphemy. There is no context (or excuse) that would make this appropriate.
It was my hope that someone else would speak up and rebut the sacrilegious diminution of God thereby making it unnecessary for me to do so. Everyone remained silent. I would not have been able to sleep with a clear conscience tonight if I remained silent while God suffered degradation at the hands of a human being, publicly no less.
Not purposefully meaning to offend anyone but this is where I stand.
Rochellino, do you know the comm “Broken Arrow”?
Until you do, and until you have experienced it, you have no right to judge.
May God shield you and yours from the red dawn of Isandlwana, which is my daily walk.
Sheri Dean Parmelee, Ph.D
Andrew, may the Lord bless you and keep you. I pray that you and your wife will have courage in this time of trial and that He will strengthen Barb as she helps you face whatever lies ahead.
Hugs to you both,
Sheri Dean Parmelee, Ph.D
Steve, thanks for your thoughtful posting. I believe that whatever God calls us to do, He will give us the means by which to do it. I hope each day, knowing that God is in charge. As that bromide says, God is God and I am not.
“God will protect you and give you rest. Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times. His power at work in you can do far more than you dare ask or imagine.” These words encouraged me. I was robbed yesterday, making it a rough 24 hours. But I see God’s mercies in how the situation could have been much worse. Thank you for this post.
what a witness to His protection over you. I can’t imagine being robbed. And it could’ve been worse, you are right. Thank you for sharing this, and Scripture.
Thank you Claire.
Your story has encouraged me and it is a witness to His work in your life. Thank you for sharing it with us. 🙂
A message I need now as I work on finishing my trilogy. To God be the glory.
Thank you for the powerful reminders.
So very grateful for our blessed hope.
Great post. It took a great shake up in my life to remember my identity was not in my career but in Christ. It took a serious look at how I neglected my walk because of that career, to draw me back to Him, and to realize He’s my hope. He’s the treasure we seek, and He’s the desire of our hearts– no one, nothing else can replace His goodness. Writing was put on my heart at an early age, but never able to fulfill it because of duties and career (Martha?). It took a great fall (from pride) to realize how fast the flowers fade. Yet but for the grace of God, go I. Now I can cling to that hope, Him, my resurrected love to write, whether ever published or no… it is something I pray will bring Him glory. And in that too, I hope.
Thanks Steve. Timely.