Are you afraid to believe that there is hope in this present day? This is not a rhetorical question - nor do I ask this lightly. I have three people close to me who are struggling with this reality right now. There have been times in my life that I too have been afraid to get my hopes up for fear of disappointment and all the emotions that come with it. It may seem much easier to maintain the status quo than to build up one’s hopes and then to perhaps have them come crashing down.
Many born again, Spirit-filled believers may have faced disappointments before, but desperately need God’s intervention now. Which side of the coin are they going to choose to believe? As I pondered on how to pray for my friends in these circumstances, my mind immediately went to Hebrews 11:1, the famous hall of fame chapter, which starts with ‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen’. This seems obvious and easy, but the fact is, when we have lost hope, we have also lost the faith needed for the situation.
The pandemic that we are experiencing currently is causing many to lose hope. Our scripture says that when hope is deferred our hearts become sick, i.e. fearful, anxious, discouraged and depressed. We need hope. It is crucial for our wellbeing. Derek Prince, in his invaluable book on spiritual warfare, names it as part of our armour, and says that hope is to the mind what faith is to the heart.
We also need to be clear on the difference between hope in God and wishful thinking. Am I making sure to stay within God’s parameters. I have often asked God this question, “What can I believe You for in this situation?” I say this because I have lived through the era of the prosperity doctrine and I have seen many people hurt and disillusioned because they did not trust God above all.
How do we get back our hope? The answer is that we should meditate on the Word of God, because ‘faith comes by hearing and hearing from the word of God’ (Romans 10:17). I suggest reading Hebrews 11:6. The first question to ask is “Do I believe that God exists?” Settle the answer to that question in your heart. Then the second question is “Do I honestly believe that God rewards those who diligently seek him?”
Once we settle those two questions, faith is established in our hearts. That faith then becomes the undergirding factor in our hearts, and we are able to pray with confidence, ‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope’ (Romans 15:13).
If this is relevant to your situation you might like to pray the following prayer.
Prayer: Father, I come to You as Your child and confess to You that I am struggling with unbelief. Please would You have compassion on me and help me to believe, so that I, by the power of your Holy Spirit, may abound in hope, based on Your truth and Your faithfulness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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