Monday, February 20, 2012

Hope, Hope and More Hope

Have you ever hoped for something? Have you ever waited patiently, expectantly for the Lord to fulfill a promise to you? That is where I am today. A few months ago, the Lord caused me to hope in a promise He made to me; a word that He spoke to me, a direction and a purpose that He laid before me, which my heart has waited for with great anticipation. The hope has never waned; the desire has been there ever since He spoke to me, even more great and passionate now then when He first spoke. However, my heart grows weary, as I wait for the fulfillment of His word to me. I have struggled with this promise to me for some time now, even at one point getting upset and throwing a temper tantrum with my Daddy in Heaven because things were not going as I thought they should.
When I would pray and cry out to the Lord, asking Him “when”, the answer I would receive was, “Wait, be patient, trust Me, and wait.” These are not words my flesh likes to hear, in fact, my flesh cringes when He speaks that to me. But my spirit, my spirit never gives up hope. This morning, as I was praying, asking for the fulfillment of the promise made to me by my God, asking Him to speak to me- if this desire, if this promise was not from Him, that He would speak clearly to me, not what I wanted to hear, but what He desired to speak to me. I boldly told Him that if His answer was “no” that I would yet love Him, and praise Him, that I would go where He asked, speak what He desires, and do that which He requires of me. I cried out in anguish this morning, for my heart is very heavy with this desire.
His answer to me was confirmation, confirmation that “yes, the promise was made and the hope that I have will be fulfilled, in His time, in His power, not according to my will but according to His will.” Psalm 119:49-50 says, “Remember the word to Your servant, upon which You have caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life.” That promise that was made so many months ago, a promise that even my husband as well as many other Christian friends said, “don’t get your hopes up” was made real to me today.
I am an emotional being, however, and sometimes the hopes that I have are not from the Lord, and those hopes are dashed and I am left with a hurting heart. This was something I did not want to happen again. I needed to know, without a doubt that the hope I have in my heart was from God and not from my own fleshly desires. When I read Psalm 119:49 my heart leaped within me, but I still wasn’t satisfied, I needed to know that this hope, this desire in me was from the Lord. Even though His word spoke it, His word confirmed it; I still didn’t trust my heart. (For the heart of a man is a very deceitful organ!) I went to Blue Letter Bible and looked up the word “hope” and there are many verses about hope in the Lord. And that is what has comforted me this morning. I am eager, of that there is no doubt, for the Lord to fulfill His promise to me, but I am also comforted by His word.
Hope means “to wait, to expect”. One commentary I found said, “The language here is a prayer that God would not forget what he had promised; that all that he had said might be fulfilled; that the expectations and hopes which he had raised in the mind might be realized. It is language which may be used with reverence, and without any implication that God would forget - as a child might with propriety and love ask a parent to remember a promise which he had made.
Upon which thou hast caused me to hope - That is, All the hope which I have has been excited by thy word; thy promises. I have no other source of hope; I cherish no other hope. I pray now, since that hope has been thus excited in me, that I may realize all I have been led to desire and to expect. The word of God is the only foundation of hope for people; and when our hopes are fairly built on that, we have a right to appeal to God that he will make it good. “ When our hope is in God, when our hope has its foundation in the Lord Jesus Christ, then that hope will cause us to purify ourselves, that hope will cause us to draw closer to the Lord, to lay down our will in the hope that His will, His promises will be fulfilled in us.
We have all had a promise given to us, at some point at some time, we have asked the Lord for something, or He has placed a desire within us, and then told us to “wait for it, wait for the promise.” Isn’t that how God works? Look at Abraham, He spoke the promise of a son, that he would be the father of many nations, but God also told Abraham to wait for the fulfillment of it. So how then do we wait? Is it okay to wait with eager anticipation- yes, in fact, Abraham did exactly that. I am hoping that it does not take 100 years for the promise made to be fulfilled in me, but if I have to wait, I will wait.
Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”  Our God is a faithful and righteous God, if He has placed a hope in you, then He will make it come to pass. He has given us hope of eternal life in Jesus Christ, hope of salvation of our sins, hope of a life with Him, has He ever failed us in any of these? No, so “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope.” Psalm 130:5.
This hope that is in me, I do believe that it is from the Lord. If I am wrong, if my heart is deceiving me, it does not matter, because my hope is in the Lord, Who is my portion, my comfort, my God, in Him I do trust and wait for the fulfillment of the promise made to me. My friends and those who love me may say to me, “Don’t get your hopes up,” but my heart cries out, “Hope in the Lord, in Him you shall trust.”
I do not know if you are reading this today, and have a hope in you, or perhaps you are in need of a little hope in your life. Look to Jesus, my sisters, look to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our Faith. As you go about your day today, as you place your expectations upon the Lord, may you be encouraged by these words, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you, will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6.
My hope is in the Lord! Amen!