WILL YOU DARE TO HOPE?
Hope. Does that word describe what we are seeing around us right now? It’s easy to lose sight of hope when we see natural disasters; widespread persecution of the global Church; a seemingly never-ending spiritual battle for our families, churches, and nations; along with the looming threat of our declining freedoms. Do you still have hope or has the continual barrage of negative media and constant pressure to give into fear led you to feel hopeless?
I must be honest; I have felt the weight of hopelessness. I have immediate family who are unsaved. It seems the more I try, the harder their hearts become and the further they go from God. That’s only on a personal level. I also see the great needs before us on a national level. What I have realized is that when I take my eyes off what God has promised my loved ones, the Church, and the nation, prayer seems harder. When I take my eyes off His promises, giving into despair becomes easier. I need to align myself with His promises. I thank God for His word, promises, and especially His faithfulness, because it never fails – and that gives me fresh hope!
Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord. (Lam. 3:21-26 NLT)
This verse is from a book called Lamentations, which means mourning. Lamentations was written by Jeremiah, “the weeping prophet,” and is a written record of Jeremiah’s grief over the fall of his nation. The disobedience of God’s people led to judgment. Time after time God sent prophets to warn, and His word was rejected. Throughout this small book we read of Jeremiah lamenting for the nation and the people, but in chapter 3:19, he says, “I will never forget this awful time. . . .Yet I dare to hope when I remember this.”
He then goes on to talk about the great faithfulness and mercies of God that never cease and are new every morning. Jeremiah’s help isn’t in himself, or anyone else. His hope is in the Lord. Here is a part of the same verse from a different translation. We will find important keys for when we are feeling hopeless:
The Lord is my portion or share, says my living being (my inner self); therefore, will I hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him. The Lord is good to those who wait hopefully and expectantly for Him, to those who seek Him [inquire of and for Him and require Him by right of necessity and on the authority of God’s word]. (Lam. 3:24,25 AMPC)
- The Lord is your portion. A portion is a share of something bigger. He is your share; your inheritance; your prize. That same verse says, “my living being, my inner self” which is your soul. Your soul must know that the Lord is its portion. It’s what caused Job to say, “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.” (Job 19:25) This was Job’s cry even after losing everything and everyone dear to him. The Lord was his everything when he literally was down to nothing. If you are reading this and you have suffered loss of any kind, the Lord is your portion. Times are dark and unpredictable, but the Lord is your’s. In other words, we are not alone no matter what we face.
- Hope breeds expectancy. A good definition of hope is “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.” When our hope is anchored in the Lord, we are expectant, despite how the circumstances look. We can be confident that God is at work. It’s not because of anything we do, but because of who He is. Hope is expecting God to do what He’s promised. When we are expecting company, we get prepared. We will tidy up our homes and make sure things are in order. If we are expecting God to do the impossible in our lives and this nation, I believe we need to start expecting Him to show up. We need to be prepared and ready.
But as for me, I will look expectantly for the Lord and with confidence in Him I will keep watch; I will wait [with confident expectation] for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. (Mic 7:7 AMPC)
- The Lord wants us to seek Him. It’s a bit of a mystery that God hides Himself. I heard a preacher say, “God doesn’t hide Himself from us, but for us“ (See Prv 25:2). We not only have the privilege of seeking Him daily; but also we are invited to do so. If you have lost your sense of expectancy, perhaps you’ve stopped seeking. The faithfulness and mercy of God is still available to you. If you feel far away from God, it’s not He who has moved away. All it takes is for you to turn back to God. Fix your eyes on Him again. Now expect that what He has promised will come to pass. Expect that none of His words will return void. Place all your hope back in the Lord and seek His face always. Prioritize your time with Him.
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! (Ps 105:4)
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jer 29:13)
I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. (Prv 8:17)
We do not know what is coming next. Will things grow darker? Will it get worse before it gets better? Only the Lord knows, but will you dare to hope again?
Will you dare to expect that your loved ones will encounter Jesus Christ even in the darkest times? (I don’t know about you, but that’s where He found me.)
Will you dare to hope that we will see the end of abortion?
Will you dare to hope that He will make right all the wrongs and injustice we have seen?
Will you dare to hope and expect that He is at work despite the bad reports?
Will you dare to hope that we will see not only revival in America, but in the nations as well?
We have Jesus Christ; therefore, we have hope. He is the Hope of Glory (Col 1:27).
If you have felt anxious, distant, overwhelmed, or hopeless – let’s pray:
Lord, we come into Your presence with thanksgiving and praise. You are our inheritance. You are everything we need. Thank You for Your great faithfulness and tender mercies every morning. Despite how things look, we fix our eyes on You, knowing that You who started a good work will bring it to completion. We thank You for Your promises that are all yes and amen in Christ.
I pray for those who are weary from the battle and bad reports. I ask that as they hope with expectation, you will renew their strength so they will soar like eagles. They will not grow weary, nor faint because You who promised are faithful.
Your word says that You are hope to the hopeless, and in His name (Jesus Christ) the nations find their hope. We pray that You will be the desire of the nations (Mt 12:21). I pray for the eyes of every believer to be enlightened that we may know the hope to which He has called us, the riches of His glorious inheritance, and His incomparably great power to us who believe (Eph 1:18,19).
We look forward with expectation to that which You have promised us, with patience, perseverance, and confidence (Rom 8:24,25). You have never failed us, Lord.
We speak Your word to ourselves and say, “Why are you cast down, oh my soul and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise him” (Ps 42:5,6). You are my God and my Salvation. Even when my eyes can’t see it, I know You are working. I place all my hope, trust, and expectation in You.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
See my servant, (Jesus) whom I uphold; my Chosen One in whom I delight. I have put my Spirit upon him; he will reveal justice to the nations of the world. He will be gentle—he will not shout nor quarrel in the streets. He will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the dimly burning flame. He will encourage the fainthearted, those tempted to despair. He will see full justice given to all who have been wronged. He won’t be satisfied until truth and righteousness prevail throughout the earth, nor until even distant lands beyond the seas have put their trust in him. (Is 42:1-4 LBT)
Have you been feeling the weight of hopelessness? How did this article speak to you?
(Photo Credit: Unsplash, Aaron Burden).
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