Sustaining Hope

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)

Mercy's Guarantee

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