The theme of this blog has been and continues to be that “God fulfills faith-based hopes”. That is, when someone hopes for something, if what they are hoping for is in accordance with God’s will, then God will fulfill whatever is hoped for, in God’s way and in God’s time. That means that it is wise to do your best to discern what is God’s will for you with respect to the situation which is causing you to hope for something. Otherwise, your hope might simply be wishful thinking. It is also important to remember that God will not always fulfill what you are hoping for right away. God might take days, months, years, and even a life-time to fulfill some faith-based hopes. In fact, some hopes will not be fulfilled until after you leave this world. For example, in my service as a pastor, whenever I was called upon to give pastoral care or counseling, I always hoped that whatever I did for someone would be effective. Sometimes I found that God fulfilled my hope very quickly. Sometimes I found many years later that God had fulfilled my hope.
At the same time it is important to remember that hopes are always fulfilled God’s way. Sometimes that turns out to be just what you expected God to do. But sometimes the way God fulfills your hopes can be very different than what you expected. Often God will do much more than you even hoped for. God will sometimes enlarge your hope. Here’s one example that I experienced, which is an excerpt from my book HOPES FULFILLED, which is mentioned below.
One evening, during a week when things at the church were just not going well, I wanted to put all that totally out of my mind. Sometimes I did that by thinking back to “the good old days” when everything was just fine. So on this evening, my mind went back about 40 years, to my service as a Navy Musician.
The thought came to me that there was one thing from back in those years that I would like to do again – just one more time. And that was to be able to play my saxophone in a big band (for those who don’t know, a big band is what today is often called a stage band). Yes, I still played my saxophone once in a while in church related activities, but to me there was and is nothing like playing in a big band. That was what I hoped for, but I knew this was just wishful thinking. I really had no hope of that ever happening. However, I thought that maybe, via the internet, I could somehow at least find and get in touch with some of the guys in the bands I played in back then. I gave it a try, with no results.
I was about to give up when I landed on a web-site on which I heard the familiar sound of a band playing the U.S. Navy theme song –Anchors Aweigh. That song we all got tired of playing over and over again back in “the good old days”. Now it was sweet music to my ears. I had found the web-site of the Navy Musicians Association (NMA). There I found a membership list, which included at least ten men I had served with or under. I contacted them via e-mail and received replies from all of them.
I learned that this organization was open to any person who had ever served as a Navy Musician, and all were invited to attend their five day annual reunion, during which most of the time was spent playing in the bands. Joan and I promptly registered to attend the next reunion. Upon arrival at the hotel I went to one of the rehearsal rooms to hear the big band playing. I sat there with tears of joy in my eyes. The next day I got out my saxophone, and the time came when I was able to take my place on the bandstand with the others, as I have done again and again at NMA reunions over the past twelve years. This God-given experience again reminded me that if you are hoping for something (like playing in a big band just one more time) and it is God’s will, no matter how impossible it seems, God will fulfill that hope, in God’s time and God’s way. And often God does this in a time frame and in ways that are so much more and better than you ever expected. I was reminded of that only a few weeks ago as I attended the 20th anniversary NMA reunion.
Now, as I continue in my retirement, I still have a lot of hopes. These are expressed in terms of projects and experiences that I look forward to. Lately I’m realizing that there are so many things on my list that I know I’ll never get to during my remaining years in this world. So I’m thinking that my most important hope is that God will give me all the wisdom and grace I need to discern which of those things on my list are God’s will for me in my remaining years in this world. Of course, I also have the faith-based ultimate hope that when I leave this world, I will spend eternity with God. I don’t really know exactly what that will be like, but I do hope that it will be a life of peace, love, and joy. And I believe God will fulfill that hope. I believe God will do the same for you.
Grace and peace, Ray
Thanks for your attention. We look forward to hearing your comments about our web-site. We also invite you to send us stories of your experiences and observations of present hopes and hope fulfilled, so we can spread them around the world via this web-site. This is one way we can all join together to help keep hope alive.
Patty Perez and Ray Gough
We also invite you to view our other web-site Ray of Hope Ministries On-Line Bible Study www.rohmbible.wordpress.com
We have also published the book shown below in the form of an e–book. We invite you to read, copy, or down-load it free at this web-site:
A Spiritual Autobiography
How God fulfilled the faith-based hopes
of an ordinary guy from Jersey City