My sister once told me hope is the last thing we hold on to when our circumstances tell us to move on or let go of what we are hoping for.
For some of us hope can be easy to hold on to. For others, hope is the first thing that leaves us when issues or problems come into our lives.
What is hope?
According to Oxford dictionaries, hope is a feeling of expression and desire for a certain thing to happen, a feeling of trust.
What do you desire for today?
What or who are you trusting for that desire to be fulfilled?
I personally have so many unfulfilled desires I’m still waiting on to be fulfilled.
Under what circumstances do you hold on to or let go of hope?
Today I want to share with you a story of hope and redemption. This story is about a man named Job. You can read his story for yourself in the book of Job found in the bible.
Job had it going on for him. He had a great family, a great attitude, abundant resources, and pretty much everything anyone would wish for. Job took responsibility for his family and was loyal to them and especially to God. As a result, God delighted in Job’s way of living.
Job was blameless, a man with complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil. Satan, defined as the accuser, argued that Job was such a good man and was well off because God had richly blessed him. Satan was sure that if God stripped Job away from everything good, Job would curse God.
God trusted Job and his faithfulness to Him that he allowed Satan to mess with Job’s life. God had faith that Job would not turn away from Him even if everything good in his life were taken away. Job got hit from different angles in his life. Tragedy after tragedy stroked him (4 times exactly).
Job became sorrowful.
He grieved over the loss of his family and everything else he had. Job indeed had every reason to question God, even doubt his goodness after everything he had experienced. However, Job reacted in a way others would describe as foolish.
Rather than cursing God like Satan wanted him to, he fell to the ground in surrender and worshipped his creator.
The Bible tells us that in all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God. I don’t know about you, but I find Job’s response amazingly impressive! Put yourself in Job’s shoes.
How would you react if every member of your family was killed and stripped away from you? How would you react if you got laid off from your career you worked so hard to obtain? Or that position you invested so much time and energy to get?
Would you bow down to your knees and worship God?
I personally wouldn’t know how to react. Just thinking about it paralyzes me. I LOVE MY FAMILY, and I couldn’t imagine living life without them. Satan the accuser was not happy with Job’s response. So he approached God again requesting to have access to Job’s health. God still trusted Job especially now that he proved himself faithful despite what he had experienced.
God again allows Satan to struck Job’s life but this time he stroked him with terrible boils from head to toe. Job reached the point where he couldn’t bear the pain and suffering any longer, which caused him to curse the day of his birth. He no longer wanted to live. He saw no purpose for going on with life. Everything had been taken away from him, and now his health was being jeopardized.
Job’s story goes far beyond what I just shared with you, and I highly encourage you to read his full story. However, for today’s blog and the sake of time, I simply want to focus on this part of Job’s story.
Maybe you are one to hold on to hope no matter what goes on in your life. You tend to seek the good in every situation regardless of how painful it is. Or maybe you are one to lose hope the moment things come crashing down for you.
Regardless of where you find yourself in the “hope spectrum,” I want to share this truth with you today,
“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” (Romans 15:13).
What does that mean?
It means Jesus is alive and therefore hope is alive for you and I today! Hope never leaves us, we simply choose to ignore it or not acknowledge it. Hope is a feeling of expression. If you are going through a difficult and painful situation, I highly encourage you to express yourself to God.
Let him know how you’re feeling even though he already knows. God desires to hear your cry for hope and wants to draw close to you in your season of sorrow, anger or confusion. In doing so, whether you realize it or not, you are placing your hope in Jesus.
Hope is a desire for a certain thing to happen.
God wants us to place our hope in Him and not in a person, place or thing. Like Job, God wants us to trust him and turn to him rather than losing hope and having nothing to do with him when things aren’t going well for us. He wants to draw near to us in those hard seasons of life.
Maybe you’ve contemplated or are contemplating living life like Job did. Remember, Satan the accuser will try his best to separate you from God’s hope for you, which is Jesus. He’ll use the painful and sorrowful circumstances in our life to turn us against God rather than allowing God to help us find hope in them.
Don’t give in to Satan’s lies and schemes. Despite your heartache and sorrow, hope is present and available for you to take hold of. I wrote the following letter based on God’s truth and hope for you. My prayer is that as you read along you would feel His love and hope for you today.
My beloved [your name,]
For I know the plans I have for you. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a HOPE. Trust in me, and I, the God of HOPE will fill you with all joy and peace. My Spirit will empower you to overlook your circumstances with HOPE.
HOPE will not disappoint, because my love has been poured out into your heart by my spirit.
You have this HOPE as an anchor for your soul, firm and secure.
Give praise to me, the father of your Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that you have been born again, because I raised Jesus Christ from the dead.
Now you can live with great expectation. Put your HOPE in me and praise me.
I am your only savior and hope. Rejoice in my confident HOPE. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. Be strong and courageous, wait quietly before me. Continue to HOPE for my help and praise me even more. I have not forgotten the promise I made you, for it is your only HOPE.
Dare to HOPE in me even when it’s hard.
My faithful love for you never ends! My mercies never cease. Great is my faithfulness; my mercies are new each morning. Depend on me for I am good. Search for me, and wait quietly for my salvation.
Having HOPE will give you courage. It will protect your faith. Put your HOPE in me, I am your help and your shield. When doubt fills your mind, my comfort will give you renewed HOPE and cheer.
Now faith is confidence in what you HOPE for and assurance about what you do not see. Lastly, be confident in this, I will finish what I started in you.
Your Heavenly Father