Bible Studies By Susan Niswonger / a couple of weeks ago Share Tweet Pin Share I prefer to spend a little time with God early in the day. There are fewer distractions and my thoughts are clearer. I am guilty of doing most of the talking and as the Bible states it, “making my petitions known.” About 4:00 in the morning is when God likes to talk to me. God, in His infinite wisdom, knows that it takes about 5 hours to clear the clutter of the previous day from my mind and that he has a couple hours to speak with my mouth shut. I am constantly amazed at the things that I see and hear so clearly the first thing in the morning. That’s when I know God’s been working. Sometimes it is the words of a song, or a Bible verse or as it was this morning, a phrase. As I slowly came out of the pre-dawn haze, the words, BEYOND HOPE, imprinted themselves into my consciousness with startling clarity. The dictionary defines hope as “to feel that something desired might happen.” That is not a definition a Christian can accept. The same dictionary listed their “archaic” definition;” to have confidence or trust.” I am 51, which is approaching archaic, so I will accept the last definition. As one unknown author said, “Man can live about forty days without food, three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only one second without hope.” Hope is much more than just a feeling that something might happen. Hope is a confidence that the something will appear at just the right moment. I am, in general, an optimistic person. I usually see the glass as half-full, unlike my Diet Coke-aholic husband who is cracking open another can as soon as he has emptied the first into his glass. To clarify, that is the only thing Steve is pessimistic about. Together, we are sickeningly sweet, optimistic couple. I have found the best antidote for pessimism, depression, fear, or worry is just go to bed and about 4:00 in the morning, God will start talking. Now you can understand why I was a little puzzled to wake up to the phrase, BEYOND HOPE, which would be the antithesis of my optimistic philosophy. What was God speaking to my heart? I have been praying for someone that most people would describe as “a hard nut to crack.” Now I admit that I can’t figure out how God will get through to this person, but I stubbornly refuse to stop interceding. Was God trying to tell me to move on, have they passed beyond hope? That did not compute, so I dug a little deeper. What lies beyond hope? For the Believer, hope is more than just a feeling, it is confidence or trust. There are times, however, even for a Believer, when it seems we have come to the end of hope. That is when we press Beyond Hope. Beyond hope, there is a quiet assurance that God is faithful. Beyond hope is a peace that I am His child. Beyond hope is a confidence that God loves me with an everlasting love. Beyond hope, I rest in the knowledge that my Heavenly Father’s plan for me is beyond my understanding. Beyond hope, I cling to the promise that “All things work together for good to them that love God and are the called according to His purpose.” I have family members facing life-threatening illnesses, friends wondering if they will ever find a job, and many who are dealing with wayward children. They have been faithful to God; “done all the right things,” yet the answer hasn’t come through. During this time of extreme apprehension, uneasiness, and worry, I have watched these same people move Beyond Hope into a place of Absolute Confidence. If you are facing an impossible situation, reach up to a little higher. God has the answers and He is waiting, just Beyond Hope.