Place ALL Your Hope in the Lord

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hope in the Lord

For a long time, I kept this phrase front-and-center on my desk: “Hope in the Lord, not in your circumstances”. I don’t remember where it came from (maybe from a Christian author, or a church sermon), but although it was right in front of me, I didn’t really grasp the true meaning of that phrase.

I’d get excited about some promising development in my life, and hang (almost) all my hopes on that thing. An uptick in sales…a promising remedy for my chronic heartburn…a rain shower that was supposed to dump buckets of live-giving water…so many things that I have often placed too much expectation in.

Not surprisingly, sometimes those things didn’t work out, and my hopes were dashed. And I wondered why I felt so depressed about it.

Psalm 42:5

It took me years to realize that there is no solid hope, other than that which comes from God. You might have a promising job lead, the possibility of reconciliation with an estranged family member, or a sick relative who seems to be on the mend…but they don’t all pan out the way you hoped. And then what?

The Fickleness of Life

The circumstances of our lives, good or bad, cannot be counted on for true hope (or despair). They simply aren’t reliable in and of themselves. Only God is unwavering, the same yesterday and today and tomorrow, the source of everything good!

Is there something you’ve been counting on too much? Maybe for hope, but also for despair?

Perhaps it’s a promotion that you hope will ease your financial burdens…or the hope that the latest treatment will heal your ailment. Or, it could also be the opposite: Thinking the opportunity that landed on your doorstep is just another that won’t work out, when in reality it could be the very thing God himself sent in answer to your prayers.

Romans 15:13

I’m not saying it’s wrong to get excited about our circumstances. I mean, c’mon, when you do land that promotion, praise God for it! BUT, we must remember that ALL our hopes ultimately rest in the God who gave us life in the first place. He is the ONE who never gives up on us! Can I get an amen?!

It’s like David versus Goliath. David had confidence (hope) that his slingshot skills were good enough to defeat Goliath…but he had even greater hope in God. :: “Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” -1 Samuel 17:36-37

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