Proverbs 13:12 NKJV Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But whe the desire comes, it is a tree of life.
Have you ever felt like the thing that you had been praying about and believing that God would provide had been withheld from you and was never going to become a reality? If so, my friend, you have lost your hope and hopelessness has taken its place. When that happens, God’s word says your heart becomes sick and as a result of that disappointment it becomes difficult to give out encouragement to others because you are deficient of it yourself. But on the positive side of that scripture when what you have desired becomes a reality it is like a tree whose fruit brings life! It fills your innermost being with a renewed hope and faith that not only nourishes you but spreads it’s life-giving branches to those around you as well.
Hope and faith go hand in hand and are a foundation to good spiritual health. When hope is low faith has nothing to use as a foundation upon which to build and stand strong in the midst of the storms of life. The biblical definition of the word in the Greek for hope means “confident expectation based on solid certainty”. (Strong’s Concordance #1680) It is not wishful thinking or just having an optimistic outlook about a situation, but goes much deeper into basing that hope on the Word of God which is the solid certainty that we, as Christians, have. Paul described those who are unsaved, or those who do not know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, as “having no hope and without God in the world”. (Eph. 2:12) If those who do not know Jesus have no nope then we who do know Him should be filled with hope!
Romans 15:13 NKJV Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
God is the God of hope! He wants us to be filled with joy and peace, abounding in hope, while we are waiting for Him to do what we have asked of Him. But our faith has to have it’s roots in the Word of God for it to be effective. Our hope rests in Christ Jesus and our faith is built upon the promises in His Word. The Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, is the One who speaks hope to our hearts in the midst of difficult life challenges. When our hope level is low it’s time to get into prayer, ask the Holy Spirit to show us scriptures that will restore our hope and fill us with the strength that comes from the joy of the Lord. It is through that strengthening that we will find the hope and faith to continue to stand strong while waiting for God to change our situations.
When I think about a hopeless situation I am often reminded of King David, who when faced with what seemed to be an impossible situation where all hope was gone, expressed his sorrow over having lost his and his troops’ wives, children and possessions, but then “strengthened himself in the Lord his God”. (2 Samuel 30:6) He was battle weary when faced with the loss of all that he had and even his own men had spoken of stoning him to death. There seemed to be no hope in his life at that moment, but he knew where to turn in that time of need. He inquired of the Lord and God gave him the word that he could place his hope and faith in to pursue his enemies and recover all that he had lost.
Have you sought the Lord for the word that He has for you in what to do and how to strengthen yourself in the midst of the battle that you may be facing? Or have you fallen into hopelessness, weary from trying to figure things out on your own? My friend, God has a good plan for your life that includes hope for a future that is filled with His goodness.
So how do we do that? What does that look like in the application of life as it is for us as New Testament believers? Ultimately, the number one key to God’s strength is through prayer and feeding on His Word. Prayer is not just presenting a list of requests to God that we would like to see Him do for us, but it is in sharing our hearts with Him and listening for His response. When we accept Jesus as our own personal Savior His Spirit comes to live within us, in our innermost being, often referred to as our hearts. It is then that we are spiritually awakened to hear His voice, to feel His presence and to have the peace that comes through a relationship with our heavenly Father. We become “children of God” when we place our trust in Him to save us from the sin that we all are born into. It is then that the way is opened to us for a living and vital relationship with Him. Our hearts are softened towards His principles and His Word becomes the meat that nourishes our spirit man.
Matt. 4:4 NKJV But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
When looking at the biblical definition of “word” in the Greek we find two different Greek words that express the heart of God in relaying His thoughts to us. According to Strong’s concordance logos is “the expression of a thought, a message, a discourse and the other Greek word, rhema, is the communication of the message. Thus logos would be the message of the Bible in it’s entirety and rhema would be the communication of a particular scripture or portion of scripture that the Holy Spirit would speak to us regarding a particular subject or situation in our lives. The Greek word for “word” in this scripture is rhema, which according to Strong’s Concordance #4487 means “that which is said or spoken”. It is through the Holy Spirit’s presence within us that the rhema of God comes forth to us. He speaks into our very spirits the Word becomes the bread of life to us! The Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts that which we need to hear to give us new hope; faith for a better tomorrow and the nourishment that comes through His Word inspires us to continue on, to stay strong and steady while walking through storms and challenges of life. Strength and encouragement comes as we seek God’s will for us through a prayer-filled life and time spent in His Word listening for His direction and instructions for how we are to proceed in facing difficult circumstances.
So the first two keys in establishing hope in our hearts is through prayer and meditating on God’s Word. These two keys are the foundation for having a hopeful attitude in life. In the next blog we will look at some triggers that breed hopelessness and how to overcome them.
My friends, God has the word for you that will help you establish hope in your life! Seek Him for that “rhema” word that will encourage your heart and give you hope!