There were times when I was tempted to be envious of those who had what I wanted. I could have become comfortable with holding on to anger and hopelessness. Instead, it was the Holy Spirit, God’s gift to those who decide who accept Jesus Christ as Savior, who enabled me to cut the party short. He opened my eyes, so I could realize that while my ‘life’ plan was not the plan God had for me, that didn’t mean that His plan for me was less important. In fact, it wasn’t about me at all! It was about Him and His marvelous plan for me… the reason He created me in the first place. It was God who taught me that I couldn’t hang on to my past and embrace my future. So what did God’s Word inspire me to do? Hope!
In the second chapter of 3rd John, it is written, “Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in good health, even as your soul (mind, will, and emotions) prosper.” I decided that I would completely trust God, but I didn’t know how. Then He showed me that in order to trust Him I had to get to know Him like I knew and loved my grandma. (Oh, how I loved her!) How could I learn to trust Him? The same way I learned to trust her. I confided in her and kept no secrets. I spent time with her. I talked to her, but I listened more than I talked. (She always had such interesting things to say!) I observed her as she went about her day and received the love that she so freely gave to me. God revealed that He wanted me to get to know Him the same way I knew my ‘Bigmama’. So that’s what I’ve been trying to do.
This is what I’m discovering.
If God tells me something, I can ‘take it to the bank.’ His Bible has so many promises that I can rely on, just reading them gives me hope. They help me to focus on His love, power, and faithfulness to me. Consequently, I’m learning that I don’t have to focus on the circumstances, but on the One who rules and reigns over circumstances.
Still, sometimes it is sooooooooooo hard not to worry, and yet I am determined not to. I refuse to worry! Why? Worrying is a waste of time! Statistics state that 40% will never happen! 30% is in the past and cannot be changed! 12% is petty and insignificant! 10% is related to health! 8% is based on reality! That means that ninety-two percent of the things I would normally worry about are not worth the time, sleepless nights, anxiety, reasoning, and stress that I allow them to exert over my life!
Instead, every day God challenges me to channel my thought life into a more productive direction. Philippians 4:6-9: “Don’t worry over anything whatever; tell God every detail of your needs in earnest and thankful prayer, and the peace of God, which transcends human understanding, will keep constant guard over your hearts and minds as they rest in Jesus Christ… fix your mind on whatever is true and honorable and just and pure and lovely and praiseworthy…and you will find that the God of peace will be with you.” (Paraphrased)
I have to tell myself that worrying in no longer permitted!
Worry is not an alternative to confidence in God. What it does is declare that I believe that God cannot handle my situation. That’s why worrying is a sin. Either I can worry or I can trust God but I can’t do both. I must choose to hope!
How can I hope in the midst of rough times?
I must choose to pray about everything.
(1Timothy 6:6 and 1 Thessalonians 5:18).
What can I do to increase my faith, which produces hope? The Bible says that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Next, I remind myself of God’s faithfulness, his grace (divine power to enable me to do what I cannot do on my own) and his mercy (forgiving me when I didn’t deserve it.)
Now here’s where I really struggle. I have to choose to fix my mind upon the Good! I have to remind myself that God is still in control. He hasn’t gone anywhere. He has not changed. I know that I am accountable for the thoughts I think and accept as truth. So I give myself a pep talk. I ask, “Who’s report am I going to believe? I know that God does not want me to be an emotional puppet, led along by circumstances. Remember that Philippians 4:8 reminds me to choose to concentrate on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report? (See also Psalm 139:23-24.) Well, that’s what I am determined to do.
I want hope to override any adversity. I want positive expectancy to overshadow any dread. I want to enjoy the journey that God has laid out for me in the Book of life. And what’s more, I want you to enjoy your journey too! In fact, I’m filled with excitement that perhaps you will come back and visit again. I look forward to spending time with you.”
Until then, I hope that you will trust and not worry. Enjoy this day of your journey!
Okay, that was my first blog. May it encourage you to keep going, trusting, and expecting God to make a difference in your life.
Below are a few of the scriptures in God’s Word about hope:
Romans 5:3-5; 8:24-25; 12:12; & 15:4 1 John 3:1-3
Hebrews 6:16-20 1 Timothy 6:17
Until next time, remember this small word ‘hope.’ Take it with you on the journey. Remember that hope, founded on God’s promises and love, will expand your horizon!
Question for today – In what areas of your life would you like God’s hope to overflow most?