“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all you that hope in the LORD.”
In this month’s first segment of Hope REimagined, I mentioned an experiment where researchers proved that laboratory animals were able to live longer when they had hope. We are similar. If we can believe, trust, see a glimmer of hope, or have something to cling to, it’s easier to hang on. The caveat is that our hope should not be in things or people. People let us down and disappoint, things are temporary, but Christ is forever; He is the same, yesterday, today and forever.
Sometimes we allow our humanness to get in God’s way. Has there been a time when you prayed for something, but the outcome did not look like what you expected, so you assume that God didn’t answer the prayer? Perhaps God did answer the prayer, but just not the way you wanted Him to; in other words, the response was not ‘wrapped’ in the manner you expected it, you rejected or dismissed it.
God’s ways are not our ways and, in the end, He knows what is best for His children. Just as a parent cares for a child – nurtures, loves and tries to steer her clear of danger – sometimes God responds to our prayers in a like manner. And, just as a parent sometimes has to discipline a child to teach him a lesson, God sometimes does that with us.
Make no mistake: God loves you! He wants the best for each of us, but sometimes, He has to prune us to get us where He wants to take us in our relationship with Him.
Hope in Christ requires us to trust in God’s promises, no matter what the situation looks like.
Hope is a part of faith; it is faith in the future tense. Romans 10:17, reads, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Hope comes from reading His precious and great promises, praying and trusting God at His Word. It also comes from developing a deep, personal relationship with Him.
To experience hope reimagined, I encourage you to look past the circumstances, pain or disappointment and look to Christ, His promises, and hold fast to them.
Peace and power
© Dr. Melvin O. Marriner,