We all hope for things. We hope our sports team will win. We hope we will get a certain present for our birthday (come on pony!). We hope we will get a good grade on the test. We hope that things will get better. We hope all day, every day without even really thinking about it. But what happens when worry creeps in more than hope? When anxiety starts to reign in our lives?
In Romans 15:13 God is referred to as “The God of hope”. The whole verse is quite beautiful.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
Lately I have been struggling with truly feeling hopeful. Between quarantine, COVID scares, dissention in our country, concerns about friends in other countries, debates about vaccines, my oldest child being across the country, deadlines, emails….the list of things to be UNhopeful about is long and heavy.
This is NOT a helpful way of thinking though. God wants to fill us with joy and peace. He wants the Holy Spirit to help us abound in hope. Abound! That word isn’t used much these days. It means to have something in large amounts. He wants us to have large amounts of hope. And not the hope like we have for the pony we wanted for our birthday when we were six. Real sustaining, soul lifting, eternal, Godly hope.
In Psalm 42:5 King David talks about a time when this kind of hope was hard for him.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation”
He was feeling pretty crummy and reminded himself, and us, that we are to place our hope in God. So, let me get this straight. If I put my hope in God, then in turn God is going to turn around and fill me with hope, joy, and peace with my belief? That sounds like a pretty good deal to me. Here are 3 reminders I have found help me push through those moments...days...weeks...when hope seems to elude me.
1. Remember that God is not going to leave you.
In our children’s worship time this is something we are teaching them. It is a simple concept but certainly a hopeful one. To hear a room full of school age children shouting “God will not leave me - no matter what!” brings a smile to my face.
Deuteronomy 31:8 “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
2. God is here to help us when we struggle.
I love the mental image of God as a father holding our hand and helping us up when we fall. As a mother of a 2 ½ year old, I can say that a large part of my daughter’s time is spent getting up after falling down. Sometimes she pops right back up, but sometimes she needs a little help and comfort. We are just like that. God sometimes needs to pick us up, dust us off, give us a hug, and set us back on our feet.
Psalm 121:1-2 “I lift my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
3. When we stop hoping in God, we can always turn around and start over again as forgiven daughters.
I can’t stay mad at my girls for long. Sometimes we argue it out. Sometimes we cry it out. Sometimes we laugh about it. We always move past it though with the beauty of forgiveness. God does that same thing for us. When we forget to put our hope in him like we are supposed to, he just waits for us to come around. Christ is our ultimate example of this.
Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Sisters, keep hoping. Keep hoping that things will get better. Keep hoping for Christ to come back. Keep hoping for the peace and beauty and perfection of God’s presence in Heaven. Keep hoping for your spouse and your children. It is one of the wonderful things that set us apart as believers. Hope is a beautiful and wonderful gift that God has given us. He wants us to believe in him and to fill us with it.
WRITTEN BY: Angie Reese
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