"The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high;
he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness.
He will be the sure foundation for your times,
a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure."
Isaiah 33:5-6 (NIV)
Somedays, I just need a good reminder of Who is in charge of this universe. Although the media would like to convince me that hope is scarce for our nation's economy, my Bible assures me that my hope has nothing to do with my circumstances. There are times when my soul needs to reflect on the eternal, that which is more real than what my eyes can see right now. These are the promises from the God of hope to my frightened mind taken from Scripture and pieced together:
The eyes of my God are on me because I fear Him and take hope in His unfailing love. I can wait in hope for Him because He is my help and shield. My soul will not be downcast or disturbed within me because I put my hope in God. I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God. I will praise Him forever for what He has done in my life, because His Name is good. My God is the Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas. He answers me with awesome deeds of righteousness. My hope in Him saves me from disgrace and shame. He has been my confidence since my youth; He will not fail me now. When hope seems slim, it is then that I will praise Him more and more. His Word and laws are where I place my hope. In times that I must wait, I will put my hope in Him. He gives me and my circumstances the promise of full redemption.
And because I am only made of dust and have such imperfect vision, my hope in the LORD will renew my strength. I will soar on wings like eagles; I will run and not grow weary, I will walk and not be faint. My God does not falter nor is He discouraged. My hope in Him will never bring me disappointment. I have no righteousness of my own, so my God who is righteousness draws near speedily, His salvation in on the way, and His arm will bring justice to the nations. Heaven is His throne and the earth is His footstool. He knows the plans for me which are to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me a hope and a future. No matter what anyone else is doing, I will watch in hope for the LORD, I will wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.
I can rejoice in my sufferings because my God promises that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character produces hope in me. That hope will not disappoint me because God has poured out His love into my heart by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given me.
I must remember something critical and fundamental to my spiritual walk: hope that is seen is no hope at all, for who hopes for what she already has? But if I hope for what I do not yet have, I wait for it patiently. I am to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. My God is the God of hope who will fill me with all joy and peace as I trust in Him, so that I may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore since I have such a hope, I can be very bold. I do not grieve without hope over my niece and nephew who went to be with the Lord this spring.
My hope in Christ tells me that my hope is not in wealth, which is so uncertain, but in God, who richly provides me with everything for my enjoyment. My hope will grant me repentance and a knowledge of the truth because it rests on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time. My blessed hope is knowing that Jesus, my great God and Savior, will have a glorious appearing in the clouds one day to take me to Himself. And I will be forever with the Lord!
Watching the evening news this week is enough to send anyone into a severe panic attack or cardiac arrest with all the doom and gloom everywhere. We must not listen in terror. We belong to the One who is Hope. He will never leave us or forsake us. He is still the God who gave manna and water in the desert. He is still the One who allowed a widow's flour never to run out during a severe famine in the land. He is the One who provides the ram in the thicket at the last minute. He is the One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He is the One who spoke the worlds into existence with His omnipotent voice. The planets continue to move in their orbits because He says so. The ocean continues to have boundaries because He gave them to the mighty waters. He is the One who brings soul, spirit, and body together in the womb. Nothing is impossible for Him. Nothing is too hard for Him. Nothing is out of His control. My job is not to worry--it leads only to evil, Proverbs tells me. My responsibility today is to praise Him for being able to do what I cannot do--make a way where there is none! This is our God of hope!
Jesus, may these promises be my certainty in these uncertain times which threaten to take my focus off the truth of Your Word. Your Word is truth. My hope is found in the Rock of my salvation, in You alone.