Have you ever stared up at the sky and watched with wonder how birds effortlessly soar through the air? They seem so peaceful as they freely allow their wings to carry them up high above the earth below.
A bird’s wings are made up of many kinds of feathers. The primary feathers, also called “fingertip” feathers, are the longest and are responsible for thrust to propel the bird forward while in flight. The birds can soar peacefully because they trust their wings will bring them safely to their destination and can keep their focus on whatever lies ahead.
I was looking through a greeting card rack one day and spotted a card I really liked. On the outside was a drawing of a beautiful feather. Underneath it read: Hope is the feather that reminds us we have wings!
I loved it! I was immediately inspired and got to work designing gemstone necklaces with feather pendants as reminders to never lose hope…
Your wings are in the form of an all-powerful God in whom you can place your trust to carry you high above life’s inevitable disappointments. Without Him, you may easily find yourself experiencing deep, dark feelings of hopelessness.
This life is filled with disappointments in every form for anyone living on this imperfect planet. Tears are shed and deep pain is felt when the hopes and dreams you have longed for with everything in you are shattered into a million pieces. After years of continued disappointments, the expectation for anything good to happen can slowly fade away. Without hope, life begins to lose its meaning.
A wish is the kind of hope that relates to earthly desires. King Solomon had been given everything he could ever wish for in life – wealth, wisdom, women, palaces, the very best food and wine, and so much more. Anything his heart desired, he pursued. Although he was given everything he wanted, he admitted it was all a disappointment to him and had no meaning:
I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Ecclesiastes 1:14
A Different Kind of Hope
The kind of hope that God has for you is not wishful thinking for things you believe will make you happy. God’s hope is defined in the Bible as confident expectation.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
Although you cannot see God, you can have full confidence that He is working for your ultimate good here on earth and for your future to be able to spend eternity with Him because of His promises to you.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
It is so important to have your mind in the right place, set on what God desires for you, keeping your hope focused on what truly matters. You will then be able to experience God’s perfect peace even during life’s most despairing disappointments.
If you have an earthly mindset, you will constantly be hoping to acquire this or that while here on earth, thinking these are the things that really matter in life. But you will always be disappointed, even when you are given exactly what you want.
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2
To keep your hope set on eternal things that will never disappoint, the Apostle Paul encourages putting on armor for defensive protection:
Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
You need the sword of the Spirit, God’s Word, to know what is important to God which is anything with eternal value. To get a clear view of His values, you need to be spending time regularly reading the Bible, making it a priority.
And you also need the helmet of salvation. A helmet protects the head – the part of the body that is used for thinking and making choices. It protects you from losing sight of what is most important by keeping your hope set on the eternal, or what is unseen. If salvation is your helmet, your focus is on the hope of being delivered from your sin so you can inherit eternal life.
For in this hope we were saved; but hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he can already see? Romans 8:24
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18
Without the sword and the helmet, you can get stuck keeping your hope focused on what is temporary (seen) here on earth which will only bring disappointment in the end. Eternal hope (unseen) provides the drive to persevere through this life, enduring all of the inevitable despair you must face. This kind of hope does not disappoint because it is based on God’s promises which will never fail.
My Greatest Hope
My greatest earthly hope in life was for my mother to be able to win her fight against breast cancer. We had a very close relationship, so my wish was for us to be able to spend many more wonderful years together. Sadly, my hope ended in unimaginable pain and disappointment as she passed away and I could no longer share life with her.
My eternal hope, however, is much brighter. It is the confident expectation that I will see her again one day in our eternal home in heaven where all of our tears will be wiped away from our eyes and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. (Revelation 21:4)
The next time you look up and see the wings of a bird fully extended and soaring effortlessly through the sky, remember to keep your focus set on the things above and to keep your trust in God whose promises never fail. When you go through times of weakness, He will be there to give you the thrust to propel you forward from feelings of complete despair to a bright, eternal hope…the hope that will keep you soaring with confident expectation.
Sparkler #1: Prayer
Ask God to help you shift your focus from earthly hope to eternal hope so you can experience His peace, even in the midst of life’s greatest disappointments.
Sparkler #2: Action
Put on your armor each day by spending time in God’s Word so you have the sword of the Spirit and keep your hope focused on the eternal with the helmet of salvation.
Sparkler #3: Challenge
Spend less time pursuing earthly things that you think will make you happy but in the end, only disappoint, and more time on that which has eternal value.
*Male mallard photo by Alan D. Wilson, www.naturespicsonline.com
Kimberly Moore is a vintage costume jewelry expert, blogger, speaker, and author of Beauty in a Life Repurposed. To learn more, visit her website at kingdomsparkle.com.
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