When life dishes up disaster, it’s all too easy to become spiritually despondent. It’s during these times we discover the truth about who we are and who we truly trust in. Whether your pains are the result of your own actions or sent by the Lord, your spiritual state of health will always show itself.
Pain from unattended struggles can overwhelm you into thinking life will never be what it once was. In such times you need an unmovable spiritual rock to rest on. An unshakable relationship which is not dependent upon your performance but survives entirely upon the other carrying you.
As a believer, you need to recognise that your circumstances can never change God’s nature. Simple faith, simple hope, confesses above all else that “…you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Psalms 86:15). Faith energised hope worships before it requests, it praises before it complains, and it waits instead of seeking self-solutions.
Joseph Hart (1712-1768), penned the following lyrics. His understanding of God’s trustworthiness is clear and simple.
How good is the God we adore
Our faithful, unchangeable friend
His love is as great as His power
And knows neither measure nor end
‘Tis Jesus the first and the last
Whose Spirit shall guide us safe home
We’ll praise Him for all that is past
And trust Him for all that’s to come.
Hope with design
You see, hope which is squarely fixed in Jesus Christ as Lord does not disappoint . When all else in life fails, you can trust in the holy character of God.
What’s more, the psalmist assures us that the Lord’s attention is captivated by those who fear Him. “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine” (Psalms 33:18-19). Rather than focus on a desired outcome, God’s “steadfast love” should be in focus. The emphasis is on the eternal things first, and earthly matters second. Obviously, survival is important to us, and God knows best how to accommodate all your needs in this life and for eternity.
You see, the psalmist recognised God’s control over the timing of life’s events. He recognised God’s ability to restore the quality of your life to precisely where He wants you. He also knows how best to change and equip you with a mind wanting to praise Him. “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken” (Psalms 62:5-6).
Humility is significant
Humble faith recognises and trusts God as the source of hope. Therefore, hope is patient with its author; knowing that He’s rock solid in His determination to fulfil His will for you. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). The Saviour is constantly training and equipping you for future works which you are presently unaware of (Heb 12:11).
I encourage you to place your desires for the future in the Lord who governs that future, and suffering shall be put in perspective under His care. We hope in God more than we hope in our circumstances. We trust Him to restore us so that we shall “…again praise him, my salvation and my God” (Psalms 42:5-6). I encourage you to invite the Lord Jesus Christ to grow within you a hope that does not disappoint. Consequently, hope honours the Lord, it strengthens others, and it shall lift you up.