Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Cling to Hope

I glanced heavenward early one morning as I drove to work. The unusually dark sky appeared ominous. Black clouds held more than just the possibility of rain. Stopping at a red light and glancing left, I noticed a small opening in the gloomy sky. Light broke though the area, revealing blue-gray yonder. Gazing around the heavens, I saw more bright spots throughout space. And God said to me, “Hope!”

Driving on, I considered the God-given notion of hope. When I stand in a turbulent existence, where is my focus? Do I stare at the ominous threat or gaze at the ray of hope? At times life situations certainly threatened to unravel me. The hopeless darkness overshadows the will to move forward. Disheartening circumstances put at risk my ability to focus on the God of promise who says, “Hope!” 

What can we do when facing unfavorable situations? How can we seize the day that signals negative news? Is it possible to remain secure when life’s difficult conditions toss us about like a storm?

God provides answers in His holy Word. Like an anchor in the storm, He stands ready to steady us, if only we’ll grab hold and focus our thoughts on His promises. 

God says through Paul in Romans 5:2-5:

……rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Rejoice in the hope of the glory of God? Okay, God, I can do that. But rejoice in my sufferings? Really, God? That’s the path to hope? Yes, His words reveal the path may begin in suffering, but by holding onto hope, we can persevere. Walking in perseverance brings forth character and integrity. From such moral strength we decide to hang onto hope. We hope in God who has poured His love into our hearts. 

One of the many stories of hope in the Bible lies in the book of Job. It’s about a godly man named Job who suffered tremendous pain, losing everything but his life and wife. He did not sin in his sorrow but worshiped God instead. 

He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”  Job 1:21

Even though Job persevered, his wife did not support his strength. She said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.”  Job 2:9

But Job said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” And the Word goes on to tell us in all this Job did not sin with his lips.  Job 2:10

Later three of Job’s friends showed up to help him flesh out his pain. And he said, “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.”  Job 13:15 

At some point as he determined to persevere, Job experienced a weak moment. All humans do. He said, “Where now is my hope? And who regards my hope.”  Job 17:15 

Was he losing hope? Maybe for a moment. Yet throughout his own doubt and despair, he continued to place his hope in God. He declared, “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.”  Job 42:2 

After years of clinging to hope, God blessed him with twice the blessings he had lost. Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons and his grandsons, four generations. And Job died, an old man and full of days.  Job 42:16-17 

Did Job grapple with his hope in God? Of course he did. Everyone contends with weakness. But as he traveled the path of suffering, God poured out His love into Job’s receptive heart. His pathway led to perseverance, growing his character, and out of that character came hope. And God did not disappoint him, but graced him with His presence and many blessings.

Have you lost hope in the middle of your situation? Let the word of God through King David and the apostles Paul and Peter infuse strength within your heart. Then resolve to hope in God.

“And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.  Psalm 39:7 (NASB)

For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth.  Psalm 71:5 (NASB)

...rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer...  Romans 12:12 (NASB)

We wait in hope for the Lord;
    he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord,
    even as we put our hope in you.  Psalm 33:20-22 (NIV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  1 Peter 1:3 (NASB)

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13 (NASB)

My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less Worship Video....

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