In all that I read today...what I woke up hearing in my mind seems to stand out more...parr of a really good praise song.
Walking around these walls
I thought by now they'd fall
But You have never failed me yet
Waiting for change to come
Knowing the battle's won
For You have never failed me yet
Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I'm still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You've never failed me yet
How often have we felt that we have been in the same place for so long that, if we are honest, we gave up hope?
It is interesting to me how the core of that song rings true with what I was reading in Psalms from King David about rejoicing that the Lord had taken care of all his enemies. To read of Paul giving a farewell address, admonishing the brethren to be on the alert. People would come in from among them to distort the truth. Their hope would be rattled.
Only in Christ is hope never misplaced.
I can already hear the rebuttal to that...
"I prayed and prayed but God didn't..."
"I prayed for days and _______ still died..."
"I prayed and nothing happened..."
It's something a bit more difficult to grasp but our hope lay not in the results but in the one to whom we belong.
If Jesus were some kind of genie it would be a different story. For one, salvation wouldn't be available. For two, if we were to always get what we wanted, what kind of people would we be? We would be every single thing that the Word of God speaks against. Greedy, impatient, impulsive, rude, disrespectful, dishonest, the list goes on.
Our lives are not our own. We who are followers of our Savior were bought with a price, the blood of Jesus Christ. Our prayers should reflect what is important to Him, not us. Jesus gave a very potent example when His Disciples asked Him how to pray.
As difficult as it is to accept, death is an answer to prayer. It is. There actually is great hope in that. Not necessarily only grief. If the person was saved, they are now with Jesus all the time! In no way are they ever suffering. Their tears are gone by the very hand of God. They likely do miss you as you miss them, but realize that this separation agony is but for a moment in light of eternity. Time doesn't exist in Heaven. Only here.
Hope is always available. Our obedience is what hinders it in many cases. The Prodigal Son found hope when he was at the end of himself. When obedience to his Father became important again, even if it meant being just a servant for his Father, he found hope.
Some don't see what I have said about death as very hopeful, but consider Scripture. David lost his son from Bathsheba, but right now he is with him again. He lamented many days while here, but as he said after knowing that his son was gone, who knows? The Lord might have yet changed his mind. Abraham up til the moment the Lord told him to stay his hand, was about to sacrifice his only son, but had hope that should he even kill his son, that God would still be able. Job, in his latter years had renewed hope with all that had been restored to him, but also knew he would see his other children again.
I have lived many periods of life in what seemed like hopeless. The dreams of being in a boat with no oars, no sails, no rudder. No wind, nothing to move me.
The silence. The despair. It wasn't on account of God. It had much to do with me. My obedience wasn't there. My hands wouldn't let go of the things I held onto in my life. Jesus was important to me, but wasn't important enough. In all the hallways and rooms of my soul, I wasn't allowing Him to go everywhere.
It took getting past my fears of the what if's to break through a lot of it.
Fears? Yes. Afraid of what He might ask of me. Afraid of what I might have to do.
Afraid of people He might want me to speak with. Fear.
Afraid of what I might have to let go of. My wants, desires, dreams. All that I held onto. Truth is those were and are chains of my own making.
Chains attached to nothing. Robbing me of hope. Robbing me of peace and joy.
I only thought that I knew what peace, joy, contentment etc was. It wasn't until I let go. That I found what I was really looking for. Hope.
Jesus's faithfulness blows my mind.
No matter what, He remains faithful.
He may have to wait for me to return, but He remains faithful.
Hope is eternal, only in Christ.
Let go of everything you hold onto, let go of the fears of what might come. Then you will experience more of a life with Christ than you will have ever thought possible.
Then you will find hope.