Without hope, who could endure the sufferings
of this life? In hope, God provides the grace
and means to receive His mercy fully. Hope
is the assurance of eternal life.
"...suffering produces endurance, and endurance
produces character, and character produces
hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because
God's love has been poured into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit that has been given
to us... God proves His love for us in that
while we still were sinners Christ died for
us. Much more surely then, now that we have
been justified by His blood, will we be saved
through Him." (Romans 4.3b-5,8-9a)
A close encounter of the cross
Crumples the heart's complacency.
The humbled heart accepts its loss
Grace surges in adversity.
By grace, the soul is lifted up,
In union with the Crucified;
They drink the dregs of the same cup
Salvation will not be denied.
This hope sustains the striving soul:
Courage to rise after each fall,
Anchor for the heart's self-control,
Acceptance of what may befall.
In hope: mercy's fully received,
The soul's most fatal wounds are healed,
Fear is conquered; faith is believed --
The triumph of the cross revealed.
For humbled hearts, hope is secure.
By Christ's own cross, victory's sure!
"Not only the creation, but we ourselves,
who have the first fruits of the Spirit,
groan inwardly while we wait for adoption,
the redemption of our bodies. For in hope
we were saved" (Romans 8.23-24a)
Lord, sustain my heart with a hope that never
waivers in trusting Your promise of paradise
to the good thief which is my soul. Amen.
(c) Paul Buis, 2009