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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.”—Psalm 146:5 (NKJV)
For a few very long and painful years, I cried out to the Lord in my heart, with tears in my eyes and a scowl on my face. I believed He was cruel and unkind. Before I asked anything of Him, I expected Him to fail me. I had no hope in Him, no trust.
If we’re honest, few Christians have full hope and happiness in the Lord. Sometimes, we let our disappointment in His plans turn our hearts toward finding hope in earthly, less stable things like money or control. But those things will never provide the hope we’re really seeking. And honestly, we’re only fooling ourselves when we place our confidence in a future we can predict. A future that we can dream up isn’t a big enough dream. God has more for us than we can imagine.
If you question His goodness, that’s okay. If you’ve ever felt strangled by your doubt, then we have something in common. But He doesn’t ever leave us there. Even if we cry out with a whisper, He’ll come for us. To know and believe that He will follow through requires a perspective shift and surrender of our perceived control. We can’t see Him help us when we’re calling all the shots and organizing all the back-up plans. He doesn’t swoop in and answer every one of our prayers, but He always answers the prayer that says, “Help me align my heart with yours so I can put my hope in you alone.”
On the flip-side, once you trust in this hope, you have a calling on your life. Being a tangible hope for those with none is often how Jesus shows us that He cares. I remember a time when a friend couldn’t pay her rent. A blank envelope showed up with the exact amount she needed. It’s been three years, and she’s still talking about it!
We’ve all needed to see God come through for us, whether relationally, monetarily, you name it. When you look for opportunities to show the hope of Christ to those in need, you can become the proof someone needs to put their faith in Him. Don’t take that calling lightly!
Whether you are currently questioning the hope found in Christ, or you are looking to bring His hope to others, don’t give up. God’s hope and help is awaiting you.
DIG: Read Psalm 146 and Ephesians 3:14-21.
DISCOVER: Self-evaluate your spirit. Do you truly hope in Christ? Is your happiness dependent on Him or on your circumstances? Seek the answers and go before Him in prayer, asking Him how to maneuver the parts of your spirit and soul that are clinging to other things.
DISPLAY: Seek out ways to bring hope to others! This can be to family members, coworkers, friends, or strangers. Take note of the things people are needing and hoping for, and pray about meeting that need. The Lord will guide your heart with peace toward how you are meant to bring someone hope.