When Hope Becomes a Small Rebellion

I found it ironic. The person to whom I came for help in processing years of emotional trauma inspired by me? When you view your life as a trainwreck, you hardly imagine anyone finding it interesting, much less “inspiring”. Yet, “despite all which has transpired in my life”, she oozed, “you not only cling to Hope, you exude it.” And that inspires others to do the same. In fact, that is exactly when Hope becomes a small rebellion.

Almost equal to Joy, Hope is one of the most infectious emotions we experience.

Though seemingly insignificant, clinging to Hope for a better tomorrow, or that something of value will come out of my suffering proclaims more than positive wishes for the future.

It is the demonstration of tenacity at its core, a stubborn grace which refuses to succumb to defeat.

Melba Maggay, whose non-violent resistance helped to end the corrupt Marcos regime in the Philippines, said it best:

“So this we believe: a kingdom of justice and righteousness has begun, and it is making its way into people’s lives and denting structures that continue to oppress and dehumanise. Such work is seldom done in the corridors of power nor in the halls of the great. Often it is in the many small acts of integrity and goodness that many faceless men and women do every day… It is this daily practice of hope which keeps most of us going, keeping the monsters at bay as humbly and powerfully we are caught up in the kingdom fire and the stubborn grace that shines at the heart of existence.”

woman with long blonde hair at desk looking out window

Refusing a belief system which sees only brokenness and suffering as defining features of a worthless life, Hope sees not only what can be, but what will be. The catalyst for every uprising, Hope believes change is possible.

Coupled with my counselor’s declaration of my relentless return week after week, doing the hard work of healing, Maggay’s words spoke deep into my soul. “The small acts of integrity and goodness, the daily practice of Hope,” slay the giants of despair as we wield the sword of stubborn grace, watching Hope become a small rebellion.

“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.”

Psalm 130:5

Pondering the thought of Hope as a small rebellion, led me to considering how David often expressed this very idea in the Psalms. How many times amid the lament psalms we find David clinging to Hope in the most desperate of situations.

split photo of serene water and boat and dark clouds and lightening

“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:5

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” Psalm 62:5

“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 42:11

“We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.” Psalm 33:20-22

“But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.” Psalm 39:7

Though battered by personal suffering and grief or the world’s injustices assaulting us each day, clinging to Hope ignites those small rebellions in our circle of influence.

silhouette of a woman with long hair having hands raised at awn releasing birds

Quietly choosing Hope in hard situations may seem insignificant, but just as Jesus transformed an insignificant lunch of five loaves and two fishes into a bounty feeding in excess of five thousand people, (with leftovers!) He will use your quiet integrity and faith to bring about what feels impossible.

Hope becomes a small rebellion when we choose Hope, surrendering past disappointments and future fears into the hands of a sovereign Savior.

In doing so, we declare change is possible, healing is possible, all things are possible through Christ. Hurting people need Hope not sympathy. If you want to instigate change in your life, your circle of influence, even the world around you, choose Hope and watch it become a small rebellion.

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