It’s Time to Hope Again
Since many who watch the daily Give Him 15s are women, we thought it might be good for me (Ceci) to take a day and share with you. As women, we process things a little differently than do men. Where men can compartmentalize and focus on one thing at a time, for us, everything from the different compartments run together; each affects the other. In the situation regarding the election, what happened wasn’t what we expected, or at least, not what we hoped for or what we were praying for. We are faced with quite a few emotions. As women, because we do not compartmentalize as men do, we start to wonder how things will now affect our lives - what’s going to change, how it will affect our children’s lives, and even possibly, the lives of our grandchildren.
What we have to guard against is hope deferred. Here is a likely progression of unchecked hope deferred:
Confusion - we begin to question ourselves, dreams, words from God, and even His promises to us
Unbelief - this is experienced when hope is lost and expectations are gone; was God teasing us? (Of course, we know that it is not in His nature, but when we are being honest, we go there.)
Disillusionment - which usually involves questioning even the character of God.
Bitterness - with deep feelings of resentment we blame God, others, the prophets, our spouse, our parents, and maybe even ourselves
Cynicism - a complete loss of faith and hope
If you find yourself as I described above, what do you do?
Maintain Proper Perspective. Perspective is critical when it comes to emotional pain, it isn’t what happens to you that controls you and ravages your heart. Rather, it is what you believe about the situation that controls you. Take a step back. Tell yourself the truth. God is going to take care of you. He’s going to take care of your family, your job, your children. God does not tease or trick His children. He is faithful and His faithfulness to us never changes.
Draw Near to God. Spend time in His word. Psalms 107:20 tells us God’s word is actually a medicine and can heal your heart. The psalmist David drew near to God for victory over hope deferred. Use Psalm 27 or perhaps even compose one of your own to draw near to the Lord. If you quieten your soul and draw near to Him during your time of pain, of which simple worship and devotion are 2 keys, you can begin to experience change.
Speak to Your Heart. Declare over yourself what God says about you - that you have peace, joy, hope, and a healthy heart - even when circumstances still seem to contradict Him. “But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit.” (Galatians 5:22-23 TPT)
Embrace Biblical Faith. In spite of what you feel or what circumstances tell you, choose to believe what God’s word says. Faith isn’t positive thinking, denying the reality of your circumstances; faith is denying these circumstances the right to remain in control of your thoughts, your words, your hope, your life. Exalting God above your situation changes your perspective.
Apply the Power of Hope. Psalm 103.8; 9:9-10, 33:18-22; 138:7; 89:1-2; Romans 5:5; 8:38-39; Jeremiah 31:3; 29:11; Isaiah 40:29, 31; John 8:36; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 1 Timothy 1:7; Philippians 4:13; 1:6; Romans 8:31; Ephesians 1:7; 2:6, 10; 1 Peter 2:4, 9
In Dutch’s book, The Power of Hope, he tells the story of a family in the Arizona desert:
One night a fierce desert storm struck with rain, hail, and high wind. At daybreak, feeling sick and fearing what he might find, Samuel went to survey their loss.
The hail had beaten the garden into the ground; the house was partially unroofed; the henhouse had blown away and dead chickens were scattered about. Destruction and devastation were everywhere.
While standing dazed, evaluating the mess and wondering about the future, Samuel heard a stirring in the lumber pile that was the remains of the henhouse. A rooster started climbing up and continued until he had mounted the highest board in the pile. That old rooster was dripping wet, and most of his feathers were blown away. But as the sun came over the eastern horizon, he flapped his bony wings and proudly crowed.
When the morning sun appeared on the horizon, that beat-up, featherless rooster - amidst all the chaos and devastation - still crowed, announcing the beginning of a new day. Why? Because it was his nature to do so.
Winds of adversity may be blowing through our lives and we feel our part of the world is falling apart. But if we will look closely, we will see the light of God’s faithfulness shining through the debris. And we can rise above the disillusionment because it is our nature to overcome! This is what God says about us in Romans 8, taken from The Message Bible. It is laced with the power of hope.
“Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not back-stabbing, not even the worst sins listed in scripture...None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing - nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable - absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” (Romans 8: 35-39)
I say to you, you are going to climb up out of the debris, flap your bony wings, and announce to the world that you’ve entered a new day. Why? Because deep within your DNA you can do this; you are an overcomer. Friend, it’s time to trust again, it’s time to hope again.
A prayer you can pray:
Father, we thank You that You know our hearts even when we can’t see clearly. Your love for us never changes. Even when we seem to lose hope and don’t know what to say to You, we know that You are faithful. You are Jehovah Shalom, our peace, Jehovah Rapha - the One who heals our heart. You are El Shaddai, the One Who has power over all, Elohim - strong, mighty, but full of compassion.
We choose to believe Your truths that You watch over us, You are good, faithful, merciful, You cannot lie, You’re my Strong Tower, my Refuge, and my Strength. Lord, I ask You for Your peace and Your strength. I trust that You hold my times and my seasons in Your hands. Today I choose to run into Your loving arms and allow Your wrap-around presence to comfort and sustain me.
Lord, we will not waver in our faith but choose to stand firm, believing Your truths. We hold onto Your promises for us personally, and for America. We ask You to visit us with Your Holy Spirit - sweep across our land, shine the light of Your truth and drive out all darkness. We choose to be Your instruments of love and compassion while carrying the torches of truth and justice. Breathe Your hope across our hearts and our land today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
I declare that it’s time to hope again.
Some of the material used today was taken from Dutch’s book The Power of Hope.