I was talking with one of our kids on the way to their sports training night, and they were commenting that their team lacked self belief that they were able to win. Some of them experienced a tough season last year and it has affected their confidence. Instead of positivity there seems to be in some players an expectation of failure before they have even begun the season. They have lost their hope!
To have peace, success and joy in life we really have to have an expectation of good things. Without that expectation we live in a state of waiting for the next bad thing to happen, or to failure to impact our life. But that is not how God wants any of us to live. Yes bad, negative and downright awful things do and can happen, but I know from studying God’s word, and through my own experiences that it is so important to have a knowledge of why we can have hope. It’s a hope in God that will see us through the darkest storm, and the toughest battles. Without that knowledge of God’s love and His desire to care for and bless us we can simply “take on” and accept every bad thing that happens to us. We eventually can begin to live with an expectation for evil and/or worse things to always keep happening.
David in the bible lived with the ultimate highs and lows of life. You can read some of his story in Psalms in the bible where he poured out what he was experiencing in both the great times and the moments of absolute despondency. One of the things He reminds us to do is to not get downcast even when life throws us “curve balls”. He said, “Why are you in despair, my soul? Why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God. For I shall still praise him, my salvation and my God.” (Psalm 43:5 ISV)
Hope is a powerful thing. “There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something better tomorrow.” (G. Chesterton). Emily Dickinson wrote “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul “. However, God’s idea of hope is more than even these things. We can think that hope is merely a wish or desire; but the bible tells us God’s type of hope is quite different. Hope is a “deep settled confidence that God will keep His promises”.
The question to ask ourselves is, “am I resting in the sure confidence that God will do just as He has promised He will?” For that is the essence of hope, and there is real power in having a hope in God, because hope activates our faith, and nothing is impossible when we have faith in God!
The bible says it this way, “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, “Go, throw yourself into the sea,” and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:22-24)
When I look at the life of David I notice some things, which caused him to be able to say “Why so downcast O my soul, put your hope in God”. It was because David knew God, and he had a personal relationship with Him, which was the basic foundation for His hope. God was David’s light, his salvation, and his strength. When he was feeling discouraged He reminded Himself of who God was, and also recounted all the things He had done for him in the past, as well as declaring God’s goodness and His loving hand on His future.
David said, “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living”. (Psalm 27:13)
Today if you are facing difficulties or feeling discouraged I encourage you to put your hope in God. Start to speak better things for tomorrow, and remind yourself of God’s goodness, His love and of the promises in His word. (There are a lot of them).
Reaffirm your confidence in who God is, and that nothing is too hard for Him. Renew your commitment to Him and rest in His love for you today.
“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” (Hebrews 10:23)
“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you. Do not fear; I will help you”. (Isaiah 41:13)
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus”. (Philippians 4:19)
“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” (Psalm 9:9-10)
Prayer: Lord please help me to have hope and an expectation for better things, both for today and tomorrow. Help me to have a deep settled confidence in you and your promises. In Jesus Name Amen.