Category Archives: hope

sarah’s laughter.

and sarah declared, “God has brought me laughter. all who hear about this will laugh with me. who would have said to abraham that sarah would nurse a baby? yet i have given abraham a son in his old age! // genesis 21: 6-7, NLT

laughter typified both sarah and abraham‘s first responses upon learning of God’s promise to finally bless them with a son. likewise, in the days following isaac’s birth, sarah laughed over these long expected and unusual events in her later years.

have you ever wondered why she laughed?

perhaps she was reflecting on the incomprehensibility and irony of her situation, an event that could only be a product of God making good on His sweet promise. maybe it was sparked by a secret fear that they wouldn’t be capable of raising a child at an elderly age, or at the very least would pass on before he was old enough to himself become a father. what if it was a bittersweet amusement, a chuckle at the fact that it seemed His promise was seemingly being completed too late? did she have an inkling of the rivalry that would result between her future heir and the child abraham had already fathered with hagar? she could have just been filled with joy like any soon-to-be mother, who no one ever envisioned actually giving birth. or maybe she simply anticipated the gossip and doubt among those who would soon hear that she was to carry and bear a child at an elderly age.

how many times do we share in this facetious laughter at the unimaginable things God has at work? so often, our joy at His promises or plans for us is robbed – when we pause to think how others will react at something that sounds and looks proposterous, when we’re embittered that it took Him so long to fulfill our desires, when we allow fear to overshadow possibility.

let’s work on laughing out of pure delight and expectation at the things He’s appointed for us, shall we?



Filed under hope, scripture, writings

these three remain.

on the days when it looks and feels as if everything else has abandoned us – reason, success, security-, these three remain: faith, hope, and love. they’re pretty words, these capstones of a passage of scripture that is read at almost every wedding and quoted on valentine’s day. but they’re messy words too, especially if one is genuinely attempting to put them into action in our generation. faith, hope, and love in this century has got to take on a radically different connotation if we are to ever work as the true hands and feet of Christ on Earth. i don’t pretend to know all of the solutions to achieving this, but i want to at least offer up some of what He’s revealed on this subject to me.

faith as a complete trust – not contingent upon circumstances or emotions on any given day, but in truth. faith, for this day and time we’ve been placed in, that He will make all things work together for good. faith that He is unchanging, that He hasn’t forgotten us even when He seems silent. what mountains we can move with just a speck of this!

hope is, to me, one of the greatest needs of the nations today. it is a deep desire or expectation that things will change or improve, and being confident in the fulfillment of that prayer. give hope. be hope for someone. i firmly believe that He calls us to bring hope to others, to show the oppressed and hungry what the kingdom of God is. we can never begin to fulfill this task if our eyes are forced shut to needs around us and our hearts are hardened toward being generous without want of reward. hope changes things. offer His hope to someone, and i can assure you that you’ll be given hope of your own tenfold.

the greatest of these, paul said, is love. love is an embrace, a passion for something or someone, an overwhelming need to care for the most unlovely creatures. the kind of love i believe God desires us to have for Him and one another isn’t always pretty or easy or without hurt. but it is worth it, and it does change things. in this century, let’s love dangerously. read the gospels and learn to love in action as Jesus did; hunger for justice; do something without bothering to consider how it benefits you; and show love to the unlovable. i can think of no greater gift.

what are others saying about faith, hope, and love in the 21st century?

jeff goins — Faith, Hope, and Love in the 21st Century: a Manifesto?

matt snyder — Faith, Hope, and Love: Expressed in Simplicity

jesse medina – Faith, Hope, and Love in the 21st Century

kiel spelts – Faith, Hope and Live in the 21st Century

john sylvest – I’ve Already Got Truth, Beauty, & Goodness! Why Bother with Faith, Hope & Love?

what do you think?


Filed under authentic faith, hope, love,, writings