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Wednesday Devotional: Hope is a Singing Bird

Isaiah 40: 31

I'll be teaching about Hope in my home Sunday School class this week. I found a beautiful analogy to use, from Emily Dickinson and her poem, "Hope is the thing with feathers."

Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul, And sings the tune without the words, And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard; And sore must be the storm That could abash the little bird That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land, And on the strangest sea; Yet, never, in extremity, It asked a crumb of me.

In this poem, hope resides in us as a caroling bird that keeps singing through every tribulation. For Christians, hope is built on our faith. It is not a wispy candle flame that could blow out when our dreams are dashed; it indeed is an ever-singing bird.

In his book, "What Jesus Expects of Us," Dr. Scott Engle writes:

Our hope is our sure and certain confidence that, in the end, all will be well and that we and all creation will be renewed and restored by God. It is a hope anchored in the knowledge that, truly, Jesus was resurrected almost two millennia ago. It is a hope birthed by God's love....God doesn't promise a better tomorrow; God offers us eternity.

I like the idea that hope is birthed by God's love, which places this little bird inside of us to keep singing through every dark night we experience. Of course, perhaps this singing bird is actually an eagle! Isaiah 40: 31 tells us this about hope in God:

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Finally, I appreciate this attached photo of a little bird singing away. Like hope, it is perched out on a limb. We go out on a limb when we hope. But we Christians believe that limb is actually attached to a sturdy trunk, the solid belief in Jesus' resurrection and the work God has done, is doing, and will do.

The verse from Isaiah serves as the core passage in the section on Rest in my book and video study, "The Next Thing: A Christian Model for Dealing with Crisis in Personal Life." We need that singing bird of hope in a crisis. To learn how to better prepare for and deal with your next crisis from a Christian perspective, please check into my book and small group video study at You can also find the book and participant's guide at Amazon and other online booksellers.

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