Do you have hope in your heart … I mean real hope? Hope of a broken relationship being mended … hope of a loved one receiving Jesus … … hope of finding the right marriage partner … hopes for your children … hope of recovery from sickness … or hope of receiving real emotional or spiritual healing … hope that life will be different?
There are many, many reasons for needing hope in our lives, yet despite being Bible-believing Christians and the Bible telling us that hope comes from God, we can sometimes be devoid of hope that the painful realities of our lives will actually change.
As hard and painful as our personal situation may be, I wonder if sometimes the reason we don’t have hope is, we’re not yet desperate enough. That sounds so harsh. But as I look back on my own life I realise that real hope in God only came when I reached that place of true desperation. Until then, much as I cried out to Him, even railed at Him, I didn’t have hope because I never really needed it. That’s not to say I didn’t have problems. I did. But I was pedalling so hard on the treadmill of trying to solve them my way.
It took a lot of wrestling until I finally got to the point of utter frustration with all my self-effort, and confessed, ‘God, I can’t do this anymore … striving … trying so hard to fix it all my way. It’s too hard … too much. I’m tired. I’ve come to the end of it ... I need something more!’ The something more was Jesus. Now I was desperate for Him … for His answer … for His way ... without my conditions. And, praise God, that’s when real hope came ... hope in Him.
It was the hardest struggle of my healing journey, but it ushered in the very best. As false hope in the treadmill of self-effort dies, true hope in God is birthed. And, as Romans 5:5 tells us, that’s the hope that does not disappoint, but unlocks the gateway for God to bring healing and restoration and begin His incredible redemptive work, giving glory back to Him.
Prayer: Father God, I’m sorry for all the ways I’ve striven to fix my problems – all the inner heartache and struggle - my way. Thank you for your grace and mercy: that you don’t tear down those false ways, but you understand how I’ve clung onto them for dear life and you wait patiently until I’m ready. Please help me to come to the end of it all. It’s a hard prayer to pray, but please bring me to the place of desperation, and to grasp hold of the true hope in you so that I can humbly and honestly bring my real problems to you. Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken … he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Amen.