ODJ: God’s will and our hopes

February 8, 2014 

READ: Genesis 1:1-31 

The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters (v.2).

Barely a few inches long, the image on the sonogram looked like something from a science fiction film. With distinctive little nubs for hands and a clearly defined head, I could see the promise of the one who was to be our firstborn. Still unknown were the gender, personality traits and distinctive qualities to fill out the picture of the now-beating heart. Capturing the image of this little life in the womb, the sonogram pictures were treasures for my husband and me. They reminded us that what we couldn’t see with our naked eye was indeed real, though hidden.

The capacity to produce and bring forth something seen from the unseen is inherent in all living things (Genesis 1:12,24). Humans are unique, however, in our ability to hope. We live in hope because—though marred by sin—we carry the ‘DNA’ of our Creator (v.27).

For the believer, seeing something we hoped for come to fruition isn’t about raw human ability. We base our hopes on the hard foundation of this truth: God fulfils what He designs (Psalm 139:13,15-16; Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 6:18). Like the formation of a child in its mother’s womb, however, the fulfilment of a hoped for outcome in life takes place in stages—many of them imperceptible with the natural eye.

Seasons of waiting can be difficult, for our emotions become especially heightened in times of protracted delay. When the questions—from ourselves and others—pile on top of one another, we must choose to settle ourselves on the “strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls” (v.19). For whether a hope is realised or not is based in God’s perfect plans. Our role? Stay focused, be patient and accept His loving will in hope. —Regina Franklin

Read Colossians 3:1-4, 17, 23-24 and consider how to build your hopes on the reality of heaven. 
What’s the difference between making a risky decision and stepping out in faith? How can we know if what we’re hoping for is something that God has for us or if it’s something of our own making?