Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hope in God

Have you ever lost hope?

I have.

I had hoped for so much more for our sons than how we began our life together. My husband and I were married at 17 years old and had two children by the time we were twenty. In the early years, we didn’t attend church or live like Christians. But, Keith has worked hard to provide for our family and by the grace of God through many hardships and trials, we are still married 34 years later.

As for our boys, one left for Bible college, was headed into ministry, met and married a nice girl. One went to Christian high school and claimed to be called to preach. I had high hopes that the boys would avoid the pits that I had fallen into over the years.

However, they each took their own paths away from God, one led to sin and divorce and a new marriage, the other into a 10 year odyssey with drugs and the whole mess that goes along with them. One has five children and the other has four. Neither one is where they should be spiritually nor are they teaching their children about Jesus.

I wanted God to do something! I wanted Him to perform swift miracles and change everyone. Of course, I said I would give God all the glory for what He did, but was I ready to give Him glory even if He seemingly did nothing?

How does one maintain hope for the future through all that? Even now, they are living their own lives, choosing their own paths with little regard for God.

In Psalm 42, David expresses some of these same feelings. It seems he feels hopeless and he wonders where God is when he cannot see Him working.

2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long,
"Where is your God?"
4 These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.
David begins to recount how things were before he felt so down. How he used to lead the multitude to worship with joy and thanksgiving. He remembers God and who He is and puts his hope in Him, no matter how he feels.
5 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. Psalm 42:2-5

Hope in God! (What a novel idea!)

Our hopes for our children should not hinder our hope in God. Human beings will disappoint us. This world will disappoint us. We are not to be satisfied in this world.

“God spends a lifetime allowing the world to disappoint us, so we will let go.” Reggie Weems

…And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And 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 5:2b-5

Look at the progression in this passage: From suffering to perseverance to character and hope. Virtues we should strive to achieve. Suffering is not fun, but we learn to continue on through Christ’s strength (Philippians 4:13) and in doing so, we develop character and maintain hope.

The hope that does not disappoint us is the hope in the glory of God. He will carry us through; He has saved us for His glory, Praise God!

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