I heard a dynamic message yesterday on the importance of staying focused on the Lord no matter what challenges this life may bring. We will encounter circumstances that aren’tfair, but should these situations cause us to forget who we are in Christ, and all that He’s done for us? Even in the midst of our most trying storm, and irritating frustration, nothing can separate us from the love of God!! When faced with various trials and tribulations, is your heart set on the problem at hand or on the One who has the answer for our every question, and the provision for our every need? Do you allow the cares of this world to supercede God’s Word, or do you recognize His love for you, even in your darkest hour? Friends, there is a season for everything, but as the seasons change, the Lord Almighty remains the same! Don’t let your experiences fan the flame, dwindle the fire, or destroy the passion and excitement of being in Christ Jesus!! Hold fast to the Biblical truth, and nothing will have the power to keep you from His incredible love!!
Romans 8:35-39 (NKJV)
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.
Do you ever notice how often the world tells us not to get our hopes up? Everything could be going well or we could be praying for things to get better, and someone comes along to “help” us with a reminder to realistically manage our expectations. You might be heading out the door for that job interview, and your roommate makes sure you know that “This economy is tough. I hope you get this job because this could be it and bills are due.” Perhaps you’re answering the question of how your baby sleeps, and when you share that she sleeps thru the night the response is “Don’t get used to that. I hope you don’t think it will last.” (Yes, I’m speaking from personal experience on that one). Or maybe as you enter the classroom to take the final exam, you say to yourself “I’m so nervous. I hope I don’t mess up and forget everything.” For some reason we’ve determined it’s better for us to keep our desires in check because we can’t stand the feeling of disappointment. For some reason we’ve allowed this word to lose its value because we’ve forgotten what God has to say on the matter:
Romans 5:1-5 (NJKV)
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;and perseverance, character; and character,hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Romans 15:4 (NKJV)
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
Scripturally speaking, hope is more than just wishful thinking! It’s based on the firm foundation of the assurance of God and the return of Jesus Christ. It’s OK to have confident expectation!! Do you know that God is aware of our hopes, dreams and desires, and because of His love for us He wants to deliver?! We can trust Him completely and not have to succumb to the mediocre expectations of this world!
You may be wondering if it’s really this simple. It’s possible that you’ve been hoping for something and you’ve yet to see the manifestation, but if you’re experiencing this don’t give up! Find comfort in knowing that once we have what we ask for there’s no longer a reason to hope for that particular thing. After all “…faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Think back to that last prayer He answered (I’m sure it wasn’t that long ago), and ask yourself if the King of Kings and Lord of Lords has ever let you down. Something tells me He’s done more than enough to have your faith renewed!
I encourage you today to not only set your hope in Him, but do so with a smile. 🙂 Meditate on His loving ways and the truth found in the pages of His Word, and the next time you “prepare for the worst but hope for the best” know that it comes with the certainty of God’s promises!
Does your hope lie in man or in our Almighty Savior?
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