Subtitle: Or, at the least, I think I believe
Sub-subtitle: Or, at the most, I believe I know
Why are you cast down, O my soul? Why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my help and my God (Psalm 42.5-6)
The psalmist, trapped in a time of deepening, seemingly endless trial, is overcome by disquieting self-pity. Nearly! For, in the next breath, anticipating Divine deliverance, the psalmist can and does sing of “hope in God” who is “my help and my God.”
I have learned the power of this hope, which, by virtue of what it is – that facility, in a moment of present bleakness, to envision a blessedness yet to (be)come – always is most palpably real in that proverbial state of darkness before dawn.
When I write, “I have learned the power of this hope,” I infer a three-stage process.
First, I came to know through the repeated futility of my efforts the powerlessness of my human hope; that is, the wishful thinking of my expressing my desires in the face of all (life itself!) that do not command and cannot control.
Second, I came to believe that hope that has power is the gift of God’s Love through the Holy Spirit.
Three (and this stage is daily, moment-by-moment), I consciously accept, that is, open my heart to receive the Divine-grace of hope, being that capacity to envision the good, even and especially in dire circumstances.
Before I learned the power of this hope, I was susceptible to (and purposefully sought!) periods of self-pity. The reasons? Some known to me. Most, given the unfathomable depth of the (my) unconscious self, unknown; yet no less precipitating.
Before I learned the power of this hope, I discovered repeatedly that a pity-party was the least expensive event, in time and effort, to organize and to publicize. For it required only one invitation to be sent to the only one who would RSVP and attend: me.
Now, that I have learned the power of this hope, even when immersed in the shadows of despair, I know that am not alone. For, by faith, I know that God always is with me. And when (for I always have a choice) I decide to be with God, then ever do I “hope in God” knowing that “I shall again praise Him, my help and my God.”
Thanks be to God!
© 2020 PRA
 As the Apostle Paul has written: As we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that 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 (Romans 5.1-5; emphases mine)