Hanging on to Hope: Where do we find hope?

On some days, it’s hard to see any silver linings.

Many of us have experienced dark days, faced with situations that look hopeless. Heavy clouds of debt. Physical conditions that threaten our lives. Relationship conflicts that seem to have no solutions, Depression. Employment uncertainty. A spiritual wilderness.

The writer of Psalm 25 knew all about black clouds on the horizon. Countless times, he writes his sad laments on the same themes: I am alone and in deep distress. My problems go from bad to worse. See how many enemies I have and how viciously they hate me! Why am I so discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? This writer knew exactly what it feels like to be overwhelmed by life’s problems.

Yet he begins and ends the same chapter by saying to God, I give my life to you. I trust in you, my God! Protect me! Rescue my life … I put my hope in you.

Things looked pretty bleak to the writer. He knew nothing about the hope that can change our lives today (we’ll talk about that soon); but he did know the only one he could have confidence in was God. He knew God’s character, love, and power. And so he pinned all his hopes on God, even though circumstances in his life looked pretty impossible.

Knowing God’s character, love, and power — knowing the Father better — gives us a new way to look at life and our circumstances. Problems and enemies don’t disappear when we trust God with our lives; but we can know that when we are almost drowning in discouragement and sadness and helplessness, there is hope.

But the LORD watches over those who fear him,
   those who rely on his unfailing love.
He rescues them from death
   and keeps them alive in times of famine.

 

Oh, yes. I’ve experienced times of famine, times when it seemed there was no hope, when I saw nothing good on the horizon, when I could not see God’s hand moving. Haven’t you had such times?

But the eyes of the Father are on us then; and He keeps us alive, even though we cannot see or feel it.

the LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts him.

Let’s get an accurate picture of the one in whom we hope. This is long, but don’t skip through it. Read it, hear what it says about the character of the Father we trust. Let it soak into your spirit.

He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
   and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
   and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
He brings princes to naught
   and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.
No sooner are they planted,
   no sooner are they sown,
   no sooner do they take root in the ground,
than he blows on them and they wither;
   and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.

“To whom will you compare me?
   Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
   Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one,
   and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and strength,
   not one of them is missing.

Put your own name in the place of “Jacob” and “Israel” (because you are now part of that lineage) — 

Why do you say, O Jacob,
   and complain, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the LORD;
   my cause is disregarded by my God” ?
Do you not know?
   Have you not heard?

Our Father tells us, His children —

But those that hope in the LORD
   will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
   they will run and not grow weary,
   they will walk and not be faint.

We grow tired and weary. We stumble and fall. He does not. He renews our strength and even increases our energies.

Hope in the LORD of the universe. Believe what He says He will do for you. Will you believe what He says?

Our Father is good to those whose hope rests in Him, to those who seek Him.

 

Scriptures: from Psalm 25, Psalm 42:5 (NLT), Psalm 33:18-19 (NLT), Psalm 32:10 (NIV), Isaiah 40:22-31 (NIV)

p.s. If you’re just holding on by your fingernails today, go to the Word of God and look for the passages that talk about God’s power and love surrounding those who trust in Him, about His care of those who reverence Him, about His power defeating anything that stands against you. Such passages have taken me through some of the darkest times of my life. The Psalms, the book that most often talks about deep trouble and misery, is also chock full of promises that God rescues His children. Look for God’s words to you, His child. Believe them. 

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