My name is Hope. Having a name like that creates a lot of variations. Some of the nicknames I have had in my lifetime are: Hopie, Hope the Dope (you have to say it all together, really fast), Hoppy Toad, and Hopeful to name a few. But the name that seeped into me and became a lie I believed was Hopeless. Not only did it become a password I used from time to time for different sites, it became a definition for how I viewed my worth.
I used to say that my mother named me Hope because she “hoped I would turn out better.” Saying that in jest doesn’t make it true or any less painful to speak over myself. But the truth is I am not hopeless, I am full of hope. Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” After confessing adultery to Don and my family I thought all hope was lost. Completely lost. I was ready to throw in the towel. Really throw in the towel. But God…He was faithful. Through a loving God, respecting husband, a family that loves, prays for, and forgives, and a wonderful Christian counselor who has spent many hours helping me to see the light, I am no longer hopeless. Healing wasn’t easy by any means. But with healing came a newfound hope and that brought joy, real joy, into my life and my heart.
I said earlier I have had many nicknames in my life. There is one more to add to that list. A precious friend and her husband sometimes call me Joy. Now, that is a name I can live with. Joy is defined as a feeling of great pleasure or happiness. The biblical definition says joy is more than a happy feeling. It’s a lasting emotion that comes from the choice to trust that God will fulfill His promises. John 16:33b says “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome this world.” It doesn’t say we will never have problems or once we accept Christ our lives will be smooth sailing. No, it says we will have trouble. “Joy is not necessarily the absence of suffering, it is the presence of God,”-Sam Storms. When life seems to be working overtime to bring me down I hold on to the words of Psalms 30:5b “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” And what is the best way to handle those problems? Choose Joy. Joy is something we choose in the midst of the storms, and in the middle of a celebration. Joy is what we search for. Joy is a prayer. Joy is strength. Happiness is a feeling, based on an emotion. But joy comes from knowing in your spirit the One who is in control and standing with you all the way. Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Emphasis added). When we have joy, true God-given joy, in our hearts there is nothing that can stand against us. Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope (Hope) fill you with all JOY and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Emphasis added)
We want to thank Hope Warren for sharing this post.