Tuesday, May 9, 2006

A Reminder about Hope

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. (Psalm 62:5)

What do you hope for? If you are childless...do you hope for a family? If you are sick...to you hope to be made well? If you are suffering a wayward child or strained relationship...do you hope for the pain and struggle to cease? Is there a specific sin area that has yet to be conquered and you hope for the day when the Lord will just take it away? Are you just tired of things being hard or up in the air and hope for some type of resolution or ease? Or, are you like me and hope for the day when the Lord will bring another to come along side you and end your singleness?

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.
(Psalm 62:5)

One thing I believe the Lord has been saying to me, consistently, and indeed says to all who find themselves in anyway dissatisfied or troubled by their current circumstances is this: set your hope in the right place...Hope in God.

For years I set my hope on waking up a size 8 or finally finding someone to love and marry me. I thought, all the ick inside, the churning in my heart, the pain and fear and dread would just "poof" vanish if I suddenly became thin and got married and became a momma. (All you married people and momma's...stop laughing!) I truly believed that. The weight and the unfulfilled dream was the problem...solving that was the solution and the key to happiness and peace.

But that thinking is the Word of Man...not the Word of God. His word says:
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. (Psalm 62:5)

Whatever the issue is...weight, singleness, wayard children, illness, habitual sin, strained relationships, financial difficulties, a dead-end job, a passive husband, barrenness...you name it...those are not really the problem. Those issues only serve to show us where we are truly placing our hope...and then should point us back to God.

Last night at our small group meeting, we were talking about walking our faith out practically. One woman in our group is facing a move and, though things went very smoothly at first, they are starting to hiccup now. She began to cry and spoke of her need to walk in faith...as if she hadn't been. I felt the Lord give me a word for her and leaned over and whispered in her ear, "You have been walking in faith. But things have to get hard in order for you to go deeper."

I took those words to my own heart and sensed that the Lord would also remind me of His truth...of where my Hope truly needs to be set...and that "things have to get hard in order for me to go deeper", too.

Specifically, he reminded me that I am not single because I haven't finished losing all of my weight yet. I am not single because there is something fundamentally wrong with my personality or that I am inherently un-loveable. I am not single because the men around me are too passive, proud or preoccupied. I am not single because I am too picky or don't go to the right places to meet single men. I am single because God has a plan...and marriage isn't part of it right now. In truth, it may never be. Regardless of that, He has kept me and perserved me and protected me for a purpose...a very specific purpose. And it is not just an OK purpose or a good purpose...it is a splendid purpose. Has God used my sin to keep me...absolutely, but my sin is not the reason. In God's economy, He has worked it for my good and to further His purposes and will for my life.

The same is true for whatever your circumstances are. Sin is almost guaranteed to be a part of the mix...but God has a plan and if we hope in Him and not in change or improvement or resolution or relief...He will meet us there and give us His Peace, which is far more valuable and constant than even the best of circumstances.

However disappointing or disturbing today is, we have His promise that He works ALL things together for our good and that He has a plan so wonderful, so beyond our ability to even imagine...that it would be foolish to be distracted by any of the more difficult steps that get us where we are going. It would also be foolish to hope in the things He orders and purposes for our good and His glory as opposed to setting our hope on Him and Him alone.

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him." (1 Corinthians 2:9)

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