Ever lost something? Of course, all of us have. We’ve lost items, friends have gone, and now we dread the future. Ever feel like your happy ending is not what you thought it would be?
Yes, I get it. After the tragic death of my first husband, I wondered how I’d landed into the strange new reality of battling loneliness, figuring out the logistics of single-parenting and as a new widow, managing the chores and finances of running a household. I learned a few things about recovering, renewing and reviving my hope. To find the hope I’d lost, it was totally up to me. I had to choose to find my hope again. I looked into God’s word and found peace, comfort and (no surprise) hope. One of my favorite places to find hope is Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
We must look to the God of hope to give it to us, and choose to abide in God’s hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. To abide in hope is more than saying I wish. It’s more than desiring something to come to pass, looking forward to an event or being in a person’s presence. Hope is defined by Webster as “expectation of something desired; thing that gives, or an object of focus.” Hope is more than mere wishful thinking, yet hopelessness can bring on despair, depression and even thoughts of suicide. Proverbs 13:12reminds us, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” No wonder why the Bible approaches hoplessness in a different category from guilt and anxiety and even depression and suicide. Instead of categorizing hopelessness (also known as despair) as a psychological disease, the Bible calls it disobedience. It is refusing to trust God.
It is relying on the unchanging attribute of God’s faithfulness. Psalm 37:3 remind us, “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” When we find pleasure in God, we give him first place, submit to His plans and are directed by His hand.
Did you know that
, 17.5 struggle with clinical depression, 530,00 attempt suicide, others endure daily feelings of fear and hopelessness? In addition, airline passengers worry about flight safety, patients agonize over the dangers of surgery or deadliness of their conditions; business people fret because of corporate decisions, collegians shudder at the uncertain future of their careers. Surprisingly, 62 percent of Christians in America are worried about the future and 20 percent are searching for meaning and purpose in life.
The Bible assures us there is real hope. Heb. 11:1“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Romans 8:24 adds, “hope that is seen is no hope at all.” When we put these two verses together, we see that hope refers to the promises of God, even when the fulfillment of these promises is still in the future and unseen. When we hope in God, we fix our eyes on His promises, rather than on personal circumstances.
Hard times come and hard times go, but God’s promises are forever. Here’s a few for you to keep with you,
Psalm 56:3 “when I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?”
Psalm 62:8 “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”
Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.”
And then, we can easily put into practice what Psalm 37:4 says “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and he will do this.”Abiding in hope is confident expectation for God’s provision. He is our refuge, our joy, our deliverer, our help, our strength and our comfort.
Let’s pray, “Father, Thank you, you send hope when we wait on you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen”