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Seeds of the Kingdom

Take Your Hands Off My Hope!

by Sue Cronk

30 December 2020

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But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grown weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31, NIV

When I typed the word ‘hope’ into a bible search engine, 180 bible references were found. Some referred to the loss of hope and how debilitating that was, whereas others focussed on the power of hope, as in today’s scripture. According to Isaiah 40:31, hope in God results in renewal of strength and causes us to soar on wings like an eagle. This is an amazing picture. Eagles don’t flap their wings madly to stay airborne but rather soar to amazing heights, often high above stormy weather.

This is what God wants for each of His children, but it can only happen when our hope is focussed in God. After all, He is the God of all hope, and when we place our hope in Him, we will not be disappointed (See Psalm 25:3, Psalm 33:18, Psalm 37:9 & 34, Romans 15:13, and 1 Timothy 4:10).

Zechariah 9:12 is a powerful verse that reads, ‘Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope.’ I would much rather be a ‘prisoner of hope’, than a ‘prisoner of despair’ and no doubt, most of you would agree with me. We actually get to choose which one imprisons us and I can hear the Holy Spirit saying, “Choose Hope!”

I remember speaking to a group of Serbian ladies about hope. Most of these women had lived very difficult lives and were nursing deep, emotional wounds. They were learning to place their hope in God, as their nation sought to re-build itself after the fall of Socialism. I shared a funny picture with these ladies about hope, which I also want to share with you. I asked the ladies to imagine a little dog, representing them, with a large, oversized bone clenched between its teeth, representing hope. The little dog was holding on to the bone with all its might, determined that no one was going to steal it.

Then I asked them to imagine a person trying to snatch away the bone, and the little dog, with gritted teeth, feistily growling through a tightly clenched jaw. I even did the sound effects and had the ladies copying my ‘grrrrrrr’ after me. The little dog refused to let go of its prize, even after the person had lifted the bone into the air, with the dog dangling, and was trying vigorously to shake it off. “This is how we need to be, when the devil or other people try to steal our hope”, I explained, and several of the ladies nodded in agreement. It was a strange picture to imagine, but powerful nevertheless, and one, I hope, which will continue to speak to them for years to come.

Prayer: Father God, I choose to put my hope in You so I can be strong and overcoming. Where hope has died, renew it, I pray. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sue Cronk now lives permanently in Australia and is married to Peter. She is involved with Ellel Victoria and is presently teaching on the Explore Course in Melbourne. Her passion is to encourage God`s people by speaking hope and courage into their lives.


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