A few minutes ago I was mopping my floors. I could not wait to sit down and get these words out. Why is it that God speaks so clearly when I am mopping? Who knows. I need to mop more I suppose.
The word Hope has been on my heart for a few weeks now. It is a word that God has used many, many times to get me through some difficult and frustrating times.
Hope sustains me when I feel like I cannot utter one more pray about a certain situation. I feel the weariness, and even bitterness start to take root when I don't see the answers to my prayers.
I feel a silent pull away from Him. An eery coldness starts to encase my heart. Doubts flood in like an April rainshower across my bleak and hopeless heart.
I hate this feeling. I beg God to take these thoughts and these feelings away.
I grab my prayer journal and skim through the past year of pages. I see the slow decline of hope in the words that I penned to Him. I see the pleas. I see the desperation. I see it so clearly.
I grab journals from previous years. I see the same prayers. The same pleas. The same dripping of words.
Then, I hear the words like a honeycomb releasing its sweet treasure into my spirit..."Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9
The words echo in my ears.
Do not become weary, Jill.
Do not give up.
Then I hear the words, "We have this Hope as an anchor for our souls.." Hebrews 6:19
Slowly it starts to unravel.
This ache in my heart, this void in my soul...this longing for something that only God can provide...
Is anchored in Hope.
Hope keeps these bitter feelings, these doubtful thoughts, these restless wanderings...
Anchored to Him.
Without Hope I am lost. I am flailing in a hopeless world with nothing securing me down.
Hope is what separates me from the world. Hope is what little children have.
And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3
Hope is the assurance of what I cannot see.
Let me repeat, HOPE is the ASSURANCE of what we CANNOT SEE.
As I was mopping, God reminded me of when I was pregnant with my first born. I had NO idea I was pregnant. My body was carrying a baby for a few weeks before I had any inclination that I was with child. Then, my body took 9 very long months to produce this child. I could not see what was happening inside. The ultrasound showed a bit, but I could not see the whole picture. I just could eventually 6 months later see my belly begin to expand.
Change was taking place none the less. Just because I could not see what was taking place, doesn't mean it wasn't taking place.
Many times a whole lot is going on in the spiritual world on our behalf due to our prayers. But, we cannot always see it. Most of the time, we do not see it.
It does not mean it is not happening. On the contrary, a big, big story is unfolding. Bigger than we could ever imagine.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12
Our petitions, our prayers, our pleas are being delivered to the throne of the Most High God.
He hears them.
Not only does He hear them, He is working on our behalf. Diligently.
We must not lose Hope.
What if Moses would have lost hope when God didn't bring them swiftly into the land they were promised? (let me remind you that it took 40 LONG years)
What is Sarah and Abraham would have lost hope?
What if David would have lost hope after he sinned with Bathsheba?
What if Esther would have lost hope and never approached the King to free her people from the hands of a murderer?
What if Ruth would have lost hope after her husband died and buried her head in sorrow instead of taking the next step of obedience with her mother in law?
I see a pattern here. Do you see it?
They persevered in Hope.
Despite what their circumstances were showing...
Despite what the world was telling them...
Despite what their feelings were telling them...
It takes a whole heck of a lot of obedience to choose Hope.
It is a daily choice.
Either we choose Hope, or we don't.
The consequences of losing hope are grave.
They will never lead us to the fruit God has so faithfully promised us.
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. — Romans 5:2-5
Friends, we can never go wrong with Hope. If we take our dying breath with a heart of hope, it will have all been worth it. Our hope will be rewarded.
Hope brings joy.
Hope brings healing.
Hope stirs our faith.
Hope lights the way in the darkness.
Hope anchors us to Him.
If you are like me and you need a constant-in- your -face reassurance, I have some scriptures for you. Write them down. Speak them every single live long day. Inscribe them on your hearts. Go to sleep whispering them back to the Father.
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
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
For I know the plans I have for you. declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. Psalm 39:7
re-finding my hope,