Some people fail to realize how discouragement, dryness and frustration are related to a faulty sense of hope. A person who hopes in God cannot be overwhelmed by hurts from people because they are not looking to people for their source of satisfaction. The Lord never leaves us, forsakes us or fails us. Paul teaches us how to overcome feelings of tiredness, sadness or hopelessness when he writes, "For in this hope we were saved…But if we have hope for what is still unseen by us, we wait for it with patience and composure." (Rom. 8:24,25) No doubt Paul thought of what David wrote when he was tried and troubled, "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God." (Psa. 42:11) When our hope is totally in the Lord we are not disturbed when things do not go our way. He is our Rock and constant spring of living water supplying us with everything we need. Paul and David abounded in hope despite their many trials, attacks and troubles. These men were not like some of us that quickly give into discouragement when faced with adversity. Hope is built upon a confident faith that the Spirit will help us look towards better things to come. It visualizes all the good things that can be appropriated to our life through Christ. Hope in God helps us base our expectation on all the characteristics of God instead of our circumstances or feelings. Ask the Lord to help you increase the quality and quantity of your hope as you praise Him for His wonderful attributes. Today I made a list of 120 of God’s attributes with accompanying scriptural references that anyone can freely use for their devotions. The better you know God the more you can praise Him. Thank God we can sing, "My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name. On Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand."
Paul remembered that our roots of faith reach an inexhaustible reservoir of Christ’s grace, love and hope. When a person is consistently feeding from Christ’s living waters they are not overcome by dry spells. David wrote, "He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." (Psalm 1:3) People who hope in God have the confident expectation that regardless of what happens He will supply them with adequate supplies of emotional, mental and spiritual blessings. Remember the song, "Heaven and earth may pass away but Jesus never fails." Learn to place less of your trust in people, things or yourself and more of your hope in God.
Paul remembered that people who hope in God consistently bear good fruit. No doubt Paul thought of what Ezekiel wrote, "By the river on its bank, on one side and on the other, will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear every month because their water flows from the sanctuary and their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing." (Ezek. 47:12) Allow the Lord to help you yield a greater quantity and quality of spiritual fruit as you grow in your hope in God.
Paul teaches us that hope in God drives out despair and gives great patience. Too many people give into discouragement and become impatient for solutions to their problems. Take time every morning to focus your whole attention on the light in Christ. When you feel that darkness is closing in on you lift up your head and look to the light of God in Christ. He is a light at the end of every tunnel. He enables the worst criminal to take heart in the hope found in Christ. Only God gives hope when everything appears hopeless. When people become weary, sick or weak they tend to give up hope. Paul knew what it was like to feel tired, ill and abused, but He wrote, "I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that day." (2 Tim. 1:12) Thank God that when the light of hope comes in the darkness of doubt is driven away. Sing songs of thanksgiving throughout the day to remind you of the overcoming power of Christ’s light and hope.
Paul teaches us that hope equips us for what lies ahead. The great apostle realized that no one is able to face the trials of life without hope – it is like a fresh breath of air. The moment we stop breathing, the moment we die. Take a deep breath of God’s hope this morning through the Spirit of Christ who lives in you. At times we may have to wait until our hope is realized, but it is as sure as God’s Holy character and word. That is why John wrote, "Every who has this hope resting on Christ cleanses (purifies) himself just as He is pure, chaste, undefiled and guiltless." (I John 3:3) Thank the Lord for the way hope purifies, equips and enables you for the challenges ahead.
Paul teaches us that the only way to remain hopeful is to develop a thirsty heart for Christ’s rivers of life. Many are depressed, worried and gloomy. Others are overwhelmed, tired and lonely. Perhaps you are trying to quench your thirst with some other hope besides the Lord? Jesus said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied." (Matt. 5:8) Nothing else satisfies like Jesus. Turn your eyes and heart toward Him. Allow the Lord to turn your night to day, your gloom to gladness and your sorrow to singing. Ask the Lord to allow you to grow in your hunger and thirst for Christ’s righteousness and hope. Let’s sing, "My hope is in the Lord, who gave Himself for me. And reconciled His work of life and Christ receive. For me He died. For me He lives and everlasting life and love He freely gives."