The title of Ruth Graham’s book is taken from a framed print belonging to the author’s mother. When Ruth received the print from her mother during a particularly unsettling time in her (Ruth’s) life, it provided momentary clarity to Ruth’s situation. However, maintaining hope and anticipation while continuing to face our daily struggles requires intentional activity on our part, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Ruth delineates how this can be accomplished in the 13 chapters of this book. Each chapter concludes with a summarizing Point of Focus.
The author stresses that God meets us where we are so He can take us from brokenness into healing. Whereas we look to our comforts to stop the pain, sometimes that pain is what opens the door to God’s comfort- which heals, restores and points us to His larger, eternal purpose. Good times tend to be deceptive, convincing us that we are in control. The truth is that we always are dependent on God’s power, even though that dependence is most obvious during adversity. Indeed, God’s power shines brightly through our weakness.
Peace is described by Ruth as an inner compass and what Jesus is. It is not something we do. A lack of peace indicates our need to turn to God for His answers. Burdens such as unforgiveness rob us of the joy and peace God intends for us to have, but when we realize and participate in God’s restoration, we are living forward- and in that process discovering the joy of the Lord. It is a great encouragement that God can take the simplest, seemingly insignificant things we have to offer and use them- even in the most bleak and barren places.
Hope and anticipation are essential to our restoration. Hope is kept alive as we focus on God’s character and determine to trust, while anticipation is maintained through a daily relationship with God. We don’t need to fear tomorrow, for God is already there!