Characterized by Hope

Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice, because I have hoped in your word.
Ps. 119:74 

The meaning of this verse has probably changed over the millennia. What it meant to fear God in the fifth century before Christ is different from what it means now. Though I usually look at what a verse originally said, Psalm 119 is so repetitive that I'm going to look at the 21st-century meaning today.

There is a great deal of indifference toward and lack of faith in God these days. But there are also people who want to have faith, but the faith they see demonstrated by so-called Christians is angry and spiteful. And this is what I see Psalm 119:74 addressing. To believe not in a God of personal gain or of divine punishment but in a God of hope is evangelism in its purest form. To be around a person characterized by hope in a hopeless world is a basis for encouragement.

So does my faith help show others that a better world is possible? Does it help me embrace humanity? Does it bring encouragement to those who are afraid? I want to be a cause for rejoicing to my neighbors, and that because I believe, others might also believe.

Help me always to discover hope when I meditate on my heritage and on my faith, Lord. And just as importantly, help me to demonstrate that hope in the way I live my life; in his Name who taught me to pray...