I Will Put my Hope in God

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By Carey Helmink

I was encouraged this past weekend to hear our worship leaders share how important it is to have hope in Jesus. It may be one of the most important concepts for us to grasp in our Christian walk.

There is a saying I grew up with that I think was common in churches at the time. It went something like this:

Don’t be so heavenly-minded, that you are of no earthly good.

I have come to believe that that is terrible theology. Who on this planet has ever thought about the hope of heaven so much that they couldn’t accomplish anything here? Maybe it’s just me, but that NEVER seems to be my problem. It is so much easier to think about this life – my circumstances, my surroundings, my feelings – than it is to focus on the hope of heaven. Yet I am so much more helpful to the cause of Christ, so much more joyful, when I am focused not only on Jesus, but also on the promise of a kingdom where he makes everything right at last. The one thing that compels me to live for Jesus today is the reminder that what awaits me tomorrow is, in the words of Bryan Clark, “all that my soul longs for.”

John Eldredge says it this way:

“Faith, hope, and love are mighty forces meant to carry your life forward, upward; they are your wings and the strength to use them. I believe hope plays the critical role. You’ll find it hard to love when you’ve lost hope; hopelessness collapses into who cares? And what does it matter that we have faith if we have no hope? Faith is just a rigid doctrine with nothing to look forward to. Hope is the wind in your sails, the spring in your step. Hope is so essential to your being that Scripture calls it “an anchor for the soul” (Hebrews 6:19). (taken from the book All Things New.)

This winter has been a great object lesson in hope. Hasn’t the hope of spring sustained us during this long winter? The absolute certainty that winter will not last forever has kept us going, hasn’t it?

Spend a few moments with Psalm 42. The Psalmist reminds himself to put his hope in God! Maybe that is a reminder that you and I need today as well.

What is the Lord saying to you as you read this Psalm?

Psalm 42

As the deer longs for streams of water,
so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
When can I go and stand before him?
Day and night I have only tears for food,
while my enemies continually taunt me, saying,
“Where is this God of yours?”

My heart is breaking
as I remember how it used to be:

I walked among the crowds of worshipers,
leading a great procession to the house of God,
singing for joy and giving thanks
amid the sound of a great celebration!

Where do you find yourself today – with a heart that is breaking or singing for joy? Why?

Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God!

Now I am deeply discouraged,
but I will remember you
even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan,
from the land of Mount Mizar.
I hear the tumult of the raging seas
as your waves and surging tides sweep over me.

But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
    and through each night I sing his songs,
praying to God who gives me life.

“O God my rock,” I cry,
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I wander around in grief,
oppressed by my enemies?”
Their taunts break my bones.
They scoff, “Where is this God of yours?”

Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God!

The Psalmist talks to himself – speaks truth to himself. What truth about God do you need to be reminded of today?

 

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