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Lisa Nickerson tells us that God fuels us with the seed of hope that grows our faith to keep us going, and eventually we witness the results of His good work.

When I consider the concept of hope, I think of the well-known verse from Hebrews 11:1, NKJV: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Romans 8:24 expands on this thought, adding that hope, in itself, is not necessary if we already know or have seen the outcome.

In Romans 15:13, the Apostle Paul magnifies God as the essence of hope, powered by the Holy Spirit.

Last July, I traveled to meet with a team of Global Village volunteers to build a home with Habitat for Humanity Malaysia. On our first day at the build site, we were greeted by Eric, our charismatic construction manager, who explained the status of the project and what we could expect to complete. We could see a roof standing over an unformed foundation. Eric explained that to keep the team dry during heavy rainfall, the roof had been prebuilt, leaving the foundation untouched. He went on to describe all the tasks that needed to be completed before we could get to the real meaty work of bricklaying. nWe needed to dig trenches, build the latrine, dig the foundation, dig the water runoff system, tie steel for footers and move rocks.

Looking at the unformed foundation and considering all the work that needed to be done, I confess that I began to lose hope. I began to think that we would be unable to see walls go up before leaving Malaysia. But that is the thing about hope: Not only does it not require evidence to work; it also doesn’t even require human power.

As our build in Malaysia continued that week, we slowly began to see progress. We completed the latrine and the drainage, poured concrete for the footers, started on the exterior walls, poured concrete for interior floors, and then got to work on the interior walls. Before too long, we could join the homeowner in imagining what her home would be like.

Our faith walk is so often like the story of our build in Malaysia. We may have an unfulfilled need that appears to be unreachable. But God fuels us with the seed of hope that grows our faith to keep us going, and eventually we witness the results of His good work.

PRAYER
Dear Lord, thank You for being the giver of hope and for lighting our way when we do not see. Instill in us the faith and hope to continue Your good work so that we might serve Your people. Amen..

FOR DISCUSSION
1. Romans 8:24 says “hope that is seen is not hope,” What does that mean to you?
2. When have you experienced the joy of God’s handiwork, even if there seemed to be little hope?
3. According to Romans 15:13, God is the source of hope. What then does it mean in Proverbs 13:12 when it says “hope deferred makes the heart sick”?
4. What are ways that we can cultivate hope and faith?

By Lisa Nickerson, associate director of Women Build for Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Georgia

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