On the way to work, I saw these words written on a sign at a local church. It said, “Hope Is Real.” I thought about it and (needless to say) agreed with the statement. But as I pondered the simple little phrase, I realized that for many people hope is not real. I believe that is one of the most important gifts we can give to another person, the gift of hope.
You see, someone who is hopeless and alone usually cannot help themselves out of their situations. They have a great sense of loss and helplessness. We must come alongside and bring the good news of Jesus Christ and all that He has to offer.
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 (KJV)
One definition for hope is: To look forward to with confidence or expectation. We must bring the Word of God with all its hope to someone who does not know it is real. When we bring hope, we bring life. It is life-changing to finally believe again. It is more than just asking God for something we so badly need; we must expect our miracle. Somewhere in the midst of asking, believing, and expecting God to answer, we will find what we are looking for.
“I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Psalms 27:13 (NIV)
I have felt for a long time that the biggest problem we have in the world today is there are so many people who have lost hope. There seem to be so many hurts, problems, sicknesses, troubles, financial woes, family problems, world issues, political concerns, etc. It seems the world has no hope.
Apart from God, it is an awful, hopeless place. But with God’s help, we can make it. I want you to know that whatever situation you find yourself in at this moment, there is hope. You may not be able to see or feel the hope, but it is there for you. How do we find the hope? There is only one place where hope can be found, and that is in Jesus Christ.
I did a word search in the Bible for the word ‘hope’ and found many wonderful passages. They were mostly in Psalms and Proverbs of course. David found himself in situations many times and had to remind himself that hope is real. It comes from God. Here are a few of David’s prayers to God:
Psalms 39:7 (NIV) “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.”
Psalms 42:11 (NIV) “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
Psalms 25:4-5 (NLT) “Show me the path where I should walk, O LORD; point out the right road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.”
Psalms 25:3 (NIV) “No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame,”
Psalms 33:18 (NIV) “But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,”
Psalms 119:49 (NLT) “Remember your promise to me, for it is my only hope.”
Trust God. He wants you to trust Him. You need to agree with God about your situation. What does God say about who you are and what His will is for your life? Don’t go by your feelings. Instead, we should remind ourselves that God only has plans for us that are good. Jeremiah helps us remember what God has to say about us. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
We do not need to be disappointed and feel alone. We can have hope! God’s love in our hearts will ignite the flames of hope we have buried deep inside our hearts. God’s Word can encourage us as we read it with great anticipation and faith. Paul writes in Romans these words of encouragement:
Romans 5:5 (NIV) “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
Romans 15:4 (NIV) “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
Here are a few key scriptures that help us to understand what we need to do. Words like “be strong, take courage, wait, reverently and worshipfully fear God, tarry for the hope, wait patiently for it, and be joyful in hope. They are all action words we need to work on. Read these scriptures out loud during your Devotion times. Watch how hope will come alive in your heart as you speak the Word of God over yourself and your situation.
Psalms 31:24 (AMP) “Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for and hope for and expect the Lord!”
Psalms 119:74 (AMP) “Those who reverently and worshipfully fear You will see me and be glad, because I have hoped in Your word and tarried for it.”
Isaiah 40:31 (NLT) “But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”
Romans 8:24b, 25 (NIV) ” But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
Romans 12:12 (NIV) “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
I don’t want this to be just another Devotion. I want it to bring life to you. Pray out loud the words of hope into your life and your situations. I have hope! My hope is in the Lord! I will be strong and wait on the Lord. I trust God with my life and the life of my family. Speak these words every day. Hope Is Real. It comes from God! He has placed it in your heart. Speak it out and watch what God will do for you.
Romans 15:13 (NIV) “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
What is your need today? Is it for a financial blessing, healing in your body, a new job, a house or car, etc? Whatever it is, take it to Jesus today. Is there someone in your life today that needs encouraging? Speak the Words of hope that bring life. Hope Is Real, just try it.
How to Hold on to Hope in the Dark
“My soul is in deep anguish. How long, LORD, how long?” Psalm 6:3 (NIV)
He was at my bedside once again, the hot breath of his raspy whisper hovering quietly over my pillow. “Mommy, I’m awake. Can I get up now?”
I persuaded my eyes to open and peered at my son through a sleepy haze. ���No, honey,” I responded with gentle sureness. “It’s not morning yet.”
I didn’t need to look at the green glow of my alarm clock to know it wasn’t time to rise and shine. This fourth-born of mine was a night-gallivanting suitor of the sunrise. And for a short (but grueling) season of his childhood, he consistently rose at 3 a.m. and clamored to begin his day.
I slid my feet out of bed and placed my hands on my son’s slender shoulders. I steered him down the hallway to his bottom bunk and tucked him beneath the blankets with a kiss and a prayer. Then I implored him to snooze until sunrise.
But when the hours stretched long and his patience wore thin, my sleepless one returned with a whimper and a wail.
“Will morning ever come?”
I looked at that little silhouette from my bedside, framed in a shaft of moonlight and felt a wave of empathy wash over my weariness.
I’ve asked that same question in the darkness before. Maybe you have, too …
When a diagnosis plunges us into the unknown; when the sting of rejection leaves us scarred and alone; when our best dreams shatter and fall apart; when fear imprisons and worries flood our heart … we find ourselves wrestling with our questions in the darkness of disappointment and despair. And we wonder …
Will peace ever trump this pain?
Will joy ever replace this sadness?
Will beauty ever grow from this brokenness?
Will morning ever come?
It’s in these “long nights of the soul” where we can find great comfort in Scripture, especially the book of Psalms. Through these words, we peer into the hearts of other wrestling souls and hear the timeless echoes of our own impatient cries.
“My soul is in deep anguish. How long, LORD, how long?” (Psalm 6:3, NIV)
“How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?” (Psalm 13:2, NIV)
“How long must I wait?” (Psalm 119:84a, NLT)
But the Psalms offer more than empathy when we’ve reached the end of our rope. These sacred words suggest a strategy for holding on to hope.
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.” (Psalm 143:8, NIV)
“But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress.” (Psalm 59:16, NLT)
The timeless truth of the Psalms remind us our hope doesn’t hinge on the surety of the sunrise, but on the fidelity of the Risen Son.
God’s Word reminds us that even when our circumstances sway, Christ’s love remains the same. (Romans 8:38-39) Though our faith may waver, His faithfulness won’t. Hope flourishes when we shift our gaze from the darkness that surrounds us to the Love that encircles us. And there, in the certainty of His love, we find peace for the present and strength for the days to come.
The stars still hung in the dark sky above us, and my son’s question still hung in the silent space between us.
So I pulled my worried boy beside me and assured him the night would not last forever.
Then I hummed a little song from Sunday School in his ear, and he murmured those simple words of faith with me in the darkness. “Jesus loves me, this I know …”
And together, we waited expectantly for morning.
Streams In The Desert
By: Mrs. L.B. Cowman
There remaineth, therefore, a rest to the people of God (Hebrews 4:9).
The rest includes victory, “And the Lord gave them rest round about;… the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand” (Joshua 21:44). “Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
An eminent Christian worker tells of his mother who was a very anxious and troubled Christian. He would talk with her by the hour trying to convince her of the sinfulness of fretting, but to no avail. She was like the old lady who once said she had suffered so much, especially from the troubles that never came.
But one morning the mother came down to breakfast wreathed in smiles. He asked her what had happened, and she told him that in the night she had a dream. She was walking along a highway with a great crowd of people who seemed so tired and burdened. They were nearly all carrying little black bundles, and she noticed that there were numerous repulsive looking beings which she thought were demons dropping these black bundles for the people to pick up and carry.
Like the rest, she too had her needless load, and was weighed down with the devil’s bundles. Looking up, after a while, she saw a Man with a bright and loving face, passing hither and thither through the crowd, and comforting the people. At last He came near her, and she saw that it was her Saviour. She looked up and told Him how tired she was, and He smiled sadly and said: “My dear child, I did not give you these loads; you have no need of them. They are the devil’s burdens and they are wearing out your life. Just drop them; refuse to touch them with one of your fingers and you will find the path easy and you will be as if borne on eagle’s wings.”
He touched her hand, and lo, peace and joy thrilled her frame and, flinging down her burden, she was about to throw herself at His feet in joyful thanksgiving, when suddenly she awoke and found that all her cares were gone.
From that day to the close of her life she was the most cheerful and happy member of the household.
And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.