Read His Words Before Ours!
Y’all 2020 was THE most trying year. Everyone, including myself, has been looking for a ray of hope in these troubling and difficult times. The coronavirus, racial unrest, political divisiveness, financial problems, isolation, and on and on the list goes. So many distressing and depressing issues to deal with every single day. How do we endure what seems to threaten our very survival?
We press into hope, that’s how.
But in the dark valley, how do we find the hope we need?
Jesus is our hope.
Psalm 71 tells us Jesus is our rock, refuge, fortress, deliverer and confidence. It says He is our hope, Who is always available. Don’t miss that. Jesus, our hope, is always available. I have some really reliable friends I can lean on, but I wouldn’t expect them to fulfill those roles, because it’s too much to ask of any human.
Here’s the good news. We don’t even need to ask it of Jesus.
He just is those things . . . all the time.
Jesus is also our anchor. We know this from Hebrews 6:19, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Anchor for my soul. Yes, please. Because Jesus is our anchor, our rock, and our deliverer, we never need to be uncertain. He is firm and secure; therefore, when we place our hope in Him, we are secure.
Recently, I was furloughed for four months and then laid off. It got a little scary when the bank account got really low. Or when a bill came and we weren’t sure how to handle it. But every time I started to feel like I was on shaky ground, I remembered Jesus is “far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given” (Ephesians 1:21), so this situation was a piece of cake for Him. My job was to continue to hope and trust in Him. And every single time, He provided. There were gift cards, unexpected checks, surprise grocery drops-offs, and even job leads. We never went without.
Do you see what happened? I did not agree with my scary feelings. Instead, I agreed with what I knew to be true of God. A couple of years ago, I studied Ephesians and was particularly drawn to Ephesians 1. While this chapter says a lot about us, it shares even more about God. For instance, God chose us “before the foundation of the world” to “be adopted [. . .] through Jesus Christ for himself” (Ephesians 1:4-5).
As His children, we receive redemption, an inheritance, wisdom, understanding, and the seal of the Holy Spirit. He “has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ.”
This is the God to Whom we pray.
This is the God we should trust more than any human advice, feeling, or methodology. We can pray with confidence, with hope, because Jesus is able to provide.
But what does that look like in our everyday prayers? Because, let’s be honest. Saying we should pray with confident hope is easier than actually doing it.
He tells of the goodness God has stored up for those who fear the Lord.
He tells of God’s protection, faithful love, and ever-attentive ear to His children.
And he ends with some advice I think we all need to heed.
“Be strong, and let your heart be courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord” (Psalm 31:24). So that’s our “old school” example. And it’s a good one.
Now let me share a personal prayer. I think it’s a good one, too.
God, I know You’re in control and that’s a good thing. But God, sometimes it just doesn’t feel good to me. Today while I was planning a celebration dinner for Rick, he walked in and said he didn’t pass the test, because his mind went blank. This means no new job for him. Back to the job that keeps causing health issues. And I struggle to not demand an explanation from You.
I don’t know Your plan. But I do know You and Your character. So even though right now this looks like a defeat, I know it’s not. Because You love us, I trust You have something else in mind. Help us to be open to whatever that is. Help us to be prepared for whatever it is. And while we wait, help us trust not in what we see, but in what we know about You. I love You, Lord. Thank You for loving me, us, always. Amen
Friends, our God is for us. Our hope is never lost when we place it in Him and His plans for us. By the way, my husband got a retest two weeks later and passed.
Jesus . . . He Only Provides Everything.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!