Yes, Do Choose HOPE

April 27, 2011

Friends,
This week I saw a plaque in someone’s home that said, “Once you choose HOPE anything’s possible.” This is true to a certain extent, but it can only be fully true as a person puts their hope in the Lord, for He is the only sure foundation. A person can choose to hope for a million dollars, but appropriate action must be attached to the hope –like, say, thinking up an invention or working hard and investing what is earned. A person can choose to hope in the success of a business, a marriage, or a health product, but again, work and wisdom must be utilized. Even so, hope does often produce nothing, for there are too many stray and unpredictable factors in our fallen world.

The Lord is the only One we can put our hope in and know that He will never fail us, for as He promises in Isa. 49:23, “Those who hope in Me will not be disappointed.” What then is the reason for so much disappointment for those who think they’ve put their hope in Him? The problem is, is that we’ve merely thought we did so. In actuality, our hope may have been in probability, or in another person involved, or in our ability, our positive outlook, or our faith. Yes, these are factors, but only as seen from the natural man’s perspective, for God seems to like to work when all else seems hopeless. Even faith, as powerful as God has made it to be, is not to be our hope, for God Himself is our hope. God works through our faith and hope, but He wants to do so only as these are set on Him, His goodness, His faithfulness, His mercy and love, and His ability. As He asks in Jer. 32:27, “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for Me?” The answer, of course, is: “Ah, Sovereign LORD, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for You.” (v. 17)

This is the same answer we can give Him when He asks in Isa. 50:2, “Was My arm too short to ransom you? Do I lack the strength to rescue you? By a mere rebuke I dry up the sea, I turn rivers into a desert…” In other words, if by one word God can cause huge things to be done, can He not rescue us from our troubles if we but ask Him to? –If we but trust Him to? –If we but put our hope in Him? Certainly! But we must not doubt once we’ve asked and put the matter into His hands. Furthermore, we must listen to what He instructs us to do concerning our request. Has He said to wait and trust, or has He said to move forward and slay giants using His name in song? Has He said to pray and fast? Has He said to repent and make amends? Has He said to sell our belongings and move? Or has He said to keep doing what we’re doing while sitting, even more so, at His feet in sweet communion?

Often God’s instructions about a petition are what He commands in Ps. 37:3-9: “Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him and He will bring it to pass. He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret –it leads only to evil. For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.” This is an excellent passage to memorize, for when we are hit broadside by the cruel schemes of people or demons, we can be assured that, if we’ve done what these verses tell us to do, then God will do what these verses promise He will do. God’s Word does not lie. Every bit of it is true, and we’d do well to meditate on it carefully. In doing so, we will live according to it (in obedience, thus wrapped victoriously inside the promises), and we will have found true life. (Josh. 1:8 & John 10:10)

So… if we choose hope, is it true that anything is possible? Yes, as long as Jesus is the One our hope is set upon… as long as the hope leads us to ever-increasingly strong faith in Him. For since faith is being sure of what we hope for (Heb. 11:1), we do need to have hope before we have faith. Then as God rewards our faith, we are able to hope for more things, and “Anything is possible” does become a way of life. However, it must be understood that this life is also the crucified-to-Self life –the “life that is now hidden with Christ in God.” (See Col. 3:3) Then the things hoped for will be in line with the will of the Father, and this is how we have the assurance that He will absolutely answer our petitions. (1 John 5:14,15)

Yes, HOPE is a very wise thing to choose. For hope is the first step that leads to that which makes all the difference: Christ Jesus Himself.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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