Hope Discovery of the Day:
To find lasting hope, we have to discover our need of it first.
Scripture of the Day:
“A person’s spirit sustains him through sickness–but who can bear a crushed spirit?”
“30 Even youths get tired and weary; even strong young men clumsily stumble. 31 But those who wait for the LORD’s help find renewed strength; they rise up as if they had eagles’ wings, they run without growing weary, they walk without getting tired.”
The heaviness in my soul began to consume me. Everything, I mean everything – was going wrong. Or so it seemed. Every direction I turned, I encountered stinging rejection, sickness, vicious slander or trouble of some sort.
Ever felt like that? It seems there is no way out and our spirit is so crushed we just don’t have the stamina to try to hope one more time. It feels pointless.
Life’s disappointments can be so cruel. Especially when they involve people who want to make sure you don’t forget it. Sorry, that last statement makes me laugh. I’m not bitter, really, I’m not. I am an extreme optimist because of the hope we have in God, but it’s just that I don’t want to sugar coat the reality of how hard it is to hope in a world that just keeps kicking us down. And we have an enemy of our souls who wants to destroy us, so there ya have it. Seems like a hopeless situation. But God.
For us to find lasting hope, we have to discover our need of it first. When life is perfect, (ok, this never happens, but you know what I mean, somewhat trouble-free for a moment), we can be content with lesser things. But when the sky is falling and we struggle just to get up in the morning when our reality is so very painful, that is when we realize our hope was not enough.
Sure, our hope was enough for the basic life probs. You know, we hope we will do ok on a test, we hope we will get a job we want. We hope our dreams will come true. But these hopes depend on us, not on God. And the basic hope we have? It came from Him, too.
Hope in God is a fight.
We struggle to truly hope in God because we place our hope in so many counterfeit solutions or in imperfect man. We also might not like how much time God is taking. But placing our hopes in counterfeit places only leaves us more hopeless.
How do we hope in God? We search His Word for promises concerning us or our situation. We place our trust in Him by faith. We ask Him to help us do this. We confess when we are prone to doubt and we fight the good fight of faith. We fight for our hope in God. Hope is not a passive activity and we need to place it firmly in God alone. This will be a fight. It will mean not letting our emotions and thoughts rule us, but taking them captive. This Scripture below reveals this very real fight that we are in, whether or not we realize it:
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
“For though we live as human beings, we do not wage war according to human standards, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not human weapons, but are made powerful by God for tearing down strongholds. We tear down arguments 5 and every arrogant obstacle that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obey Christ. “
Our hope is often also tied to a need for our circumstances or for this world to be “good”, or what we deem as good. When things don’t seem good, we can be prone to disillusionment or worse – despair. When our hurt is so raw we cannot see past it, this is when our hope needs to be dependent upon God’s character. Our hope must be in His Word and His Word is perfect.
“I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope.”
The Cause of our Crushed Spirit
The cause of our crushed spirit is often tied to expectations that are crushed or never come to fruition. Does hoping in God mean we cannot have the hopes we long for? No, not necessarily. Our hopes will go through a transformation that far exceeds our own plans. God is not a dream killer. We just might need our hopes to be in Him and His purposes rather than just being all about us. God has a way of turning our greatest sorrows into a fulfillment of a better hope than what we were clinging to.
God made us for so much more than trying to make our world perfect down here. He made us for relationship and to be a part of His mission of redeeming mankind. No greater calling than that. He counts every tear and comforts us when we hurt. He gives us perspective when all we see is the death of hope around us. Suddenly, when we explore His promises and the hope He has around us, we look up and see Hope through His eyes.
Lord, please help the burdened spirits reading this today. Help us all to continue to seek after You and not just a temporary hope on this earth. You are our hope and hope in You is never disappointed.