In the Psalm of David, he gives a plea for deliverance and forgiveness. It's one of the most beautiful chapters to read and I will give you this time to read through it by posting it here.
v1) "To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
v2) O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me.
v3) Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause.
v4) Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths.
v5) Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.
v6) Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses, For they are from of old.
v7) Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; According to Your mercy remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.
v8) Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore He teaches sinners in the way.
v9) The humble He guides in justice, And the humble He teaches His way.
v10) All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, To such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.
v11) For Your name’s sake, O Lord, Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
v12) Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses.
v13) He himself shall dwell in prosperity, And his descendants shall inherit the earth.
v14) The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.
v15) My eyes are ever toward the Lord, For He shall pluck my feet out of the net.
v16) Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me, For I am desolate and afflicted.
v17) The troubles of my heart have enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses!
v18) Look on my affliction and my pain, And forgive all my sins.
v19) Consider my enemies, for they are many; And they hate me with cruel hatred.
v20) Keep my soul, and deliver me; Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You.
v21) Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You.
v22) Redeem Israel, O God, Out of all their troubles!
Our lives can sometimes become so overwhelming, so chaotic and so broken that it makes it difficult at times to see there really is hope because our eyes are focusing on the physical world and not the spiritual one. We have tough times. We have heartache. We have loss. We have pain. We have a number of things that affect us and makes us feel hopeless. But as you can see by David's plea, the Psalmist poured out his heart, knowing where his hope rested, even during those difficult times. This is something we ALL need to do. Because, there is no other hope that can be found in this physical world. No matter what you obtain, how much money you make, how successful you become, how loved you may feel, or how many friends you may have. Not one single thing in this world can promise you anything BEYOND this world, nor can it promise you that all of those "things" will last an eternity. They won't. They can't. They don't.
It always breaks my heart to know someone who has no hope. Who doesn't know there's a loving, caring Father in heaven who has His arms opened wide for them to run to if only they believed! Having this kind of Hope doesn't make you exempt from any of the worldly pains and sorrows and misgivings but this world is temporal. What is waiting on the other side for those who believe in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, is an eternal salvation, an eternal HOME. The Hope. People who don't know Jesus as their Savior, will look for hope in many places, from the bottom of a bottle to drugs to relationships that are toxic. Don't look for hope in the wrong places because you won't find it. It may APPEAR as though you found some hope, but only for a moment. Hope comes from God and He alone is worthy of the hope we place in him.
When we have HOPE in the Lord, He will show us love, mercy, grace and gratitude because He has unfailing love in us! How wonderful to know and experience this kind of a Father! See, Hope is faith in ACTION. Hope is what gets you through the night when darkness seems to be closing in on you. Hope is the belief, the faith, that you aren't permanently stuck in the darkness or boxed in with no way out. With each chapter that we move through in our book of life, we have to graduate to the next chapter. Sometimes we graduate quickly because we learn that lesson or lessons, quicker. Other times, not so much! Might take us a little longer to graduate to our next chapter in life but just know that God has a plan for your life! His plan is to give you hope! Yes! That's exactly what Jeremiah 29:11 tells us! "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Surrendering to God’s will gives you hope. The key to finding God’s will is to surrender your life Jesus and to serve Him fully. All of your tomorrows are solely wrapped up in the complete surrender to the Lord. James 4:13-15, "Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit"; v14) whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. v15) Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that."
|Hope is the Anchor of Our Soul|
In my own career path, what I THOUGHT I wanted to do, and what felt right for me, wasn't anything close to what the Lord had in mind! Looking back, I can say without doubt, He definitely knew better than I did! But the path I had to take to get to where He was guiding me, wasn't such a pleasant smooth drive! A bit bumpy and sometimes even muddy, but never dull and always full of newness and excitement. I was humbled. I was taught some wonderful lessons. I was shown my strengths. I was shown my weaknesses in order to be able to work on them. Each step of the way, I surrendered. I didn't say easily, just willfully! If you are in the will of God, then nothing else matters. However, if you're in the will of God, then whatever else happens to you, definitely matters GREATLY to God. God is your refuge and strength and HOPE! 2 Timothy 2:15, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Simply put, WORK HARD!
So what is hope actually? What does the dictionary describe it as? Let's take a quick look. 1) to cherish a desire with anticipation 2) to desire with expectation of obtainment 3) to expect with confidence: trust 4) desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment. The Biblical definition is not a "hope-so" kind of hope but rather a KNOW-SO kind of hope. Our hope in God is surer than the sun rising in the morning. Genuine hope is not wishful thinking, not a wishy washy kind of feeling, but rather it's more of a firm assurance about things that are unseen that are still in the future. We need to stand firm in our faith, waiting for, but more-so, expecting a spiritual breakthrough. Expecting the fulfillment of all of God's promises. Expecting growth in our Faith and relationship with Jesus Christ. Expecting to come through the wilderness with more faith, trust and spiritual maturity than we had before entering the wilderness. The spiritual testing that we go through and our growing in the Lord is the patience we're being taught when yesterday seemed like the perfect day to solve all your problems! This boils down to waiting on God's perfect TIMING! That's why we really need to put all of faith in Jesus to be able to know that as we believe and trust, we also walk in faith and have hope in the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, knowing His timing will be perfect.
|God Has a Plan for You!|
Here is real hope. When a person reads the Word of God (Bible) they can, and will, know for certain, without a doubt, that they have a secure, certain future with God through His Son Jesus Christ! There's nothing in this fallen earth more certain than hope in God. He will never leave us nor will He ever forsake us. He is our anchor in the present and for the future. He is the rock that we need to build our homes upon! Where is hope found? It's found right in the Bible, all throughout the Word of God. Psalm 119:74, "Those who fear You shall see me and rejoice, because I have hoped in your word." and in Psalm 119:81, "My soul faints for Your salvation, But I hope in Your word." and again in Psalm 130:5, "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope." So with that established, let's take a quick look at the different kinds of Hope found in the Word, the Bible.
1) Redemptive Hope - Psalm 130:7, "O Israel, hope in the Lord; For with the Lord there is mercy, And with Him is abundant redemption." As a born again believer, you can rest assured that God’s love is unfailing and He will deliver us in the days of calamity. He's rescued the born-again believers from certain judgment and promised us an eternal home with Him. And instead of using ink to seal it in writing, God signed this redemption with Jesus’ own blood! The very blood that seals you permanently and covers you eternally. When our hope is in the Lord and not in ourselves or others, it's a rock solid hope.
2) Gift of Hope - Psalm 119:49, "Remember the word to Your servant, Upon which You have given me hope." God has given us the Holy Spirit to seal us, of which we can lay our trust in Him for our hope. This is evidenced in Ephesians 1:13-14, "In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, v14) who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory."
3) Future Hope - Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." God definitely has plans for you. He plans for you to have a secure future, one full of promise. He knows those plans even if you don't. A financial adviser might have plans for you too, but they don't know the future, or its outcome. However, they may try to plan for a secure future but they don't have the ability to bring it to fruition. Only God knows your future and can plan it better than anyone else, and much better than we can ourselves.
4) Protective Hope - Psalm 33:20, "Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield." Our hope in God is a shield of life. Not only a shield in our eternal life but also in this present, physical life. He's our help when we need helped and He's our shield when we need protecting. Our hope is in God ALONE for our shield and help.
5) Restful Hope - Psalm 62:5, "My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him." We've all wrestled with tomorrow as we lay down at night to go to sleep. Suddenly, without much warning, all the "what if's" begin to pop into our minds, stealing our sleep, and worrying about what lays in wait for us when we wake the next morning. But. worrying about tomorrow is only borrowing trouble from tomorrow and spending it foolishly on today. When you realize that tomorrow is already taken care of by God alone, then you can find rest. The hope you have in Him will give you much needed rest because it's so much easier to sleep at night when you know that your tomorrow is in God’s hands.
6) Reverent Hope - Psalm 33:18-19, "Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, v19) To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine." The phrases "fear in the Lord" or "those who fear him" does not mean a fear of punishment or retribution. Many people don't quite understand those phrases in the way they are meant and try to make God out to be some kind of a tyrant when in fact, He is just the opposite! This type of fear is simply a reverential respect and us standing in awe of our Creator God. It means that those who reverence God and His name have nothing to fear at all; no evil, no pestilence, no begging for bread, and no fear of want. His unfailing love is upon those that fear or revere Him.
7) Guiding Hope - Psalm 25:5, "Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day." We are finite creatures that can't look beyond our today's. It's not something that is humanly possible for any of us to do. But God has planned every step we take, guiding and protecting us, even in those areas where the darkest shadows of death seem imminent in the lowest valleys (Psalm 23). We might try to plan our own course of action but it's God Himself who determines where our steps go (Proverbs 16:9).
The Christian life is tough. It's a life of suffering, a life of struggle. The Apostle Paul tells us however that these struggles, testings and sufferings are not to be compared with the glory that is to follow. We are not alone in this struggle. The Christian life may be tough but it's because we take the narrow path and we have an enemy that is targeting us just because we belong to the Almighty God! It may be a life of struggles and suffering but it's the most rewarding, fulfilling, wonderful life you could ever live!!! You see, when Adam fell, all of creation suffered in the wake of his sin. All of creation has been subjected to futility and frustration. All of creation groans and anxiously awaits the restoration of all things. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Hope, for He assures us that great glory awaits us. Hope and Joy should be the trademark of a Christian life. We should be known by those two things.