Friday, November 6, 2009

Where is my hope?

We wait in hope for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.
In Him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in His holy name.
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord,
even as we put our hope in you.
Psalm 33:20-22

Marriam-Webster's definition of WAIT:
1 : to stay in place in expectation of : await
2 : to delay serving (a meal)
3 : to serve as waiter for

1 a : to remain stationary in readiness or expectation
2 a : to look forward expectantly
b : to hold back expectantly
3 a: to serve at meals
4 a : to be ready and available
b : to remain temporarily neglected or unrealized

We seem to spend the majority of our lives waiting. Waiting to move from one position in life to another. It seems to be a constant state of being.

This brings up an important question- HOW do we wait? Do we wait with an attitude that reflects number 4b in the Dictionary definition above? "to remain temporarily neglected or unrealized". Do our attitudes reflect one of hopelessness regarding what is neglected or unrealized in our lives? Do we wait passively, or in pessimism?

Psalm 33:20 says to "Wait in HOPE". This is an active form of waiting. Look at how this reads if you apply the dictionary definitions from above:

Remain in a place of expectation in hope.
Remain in a place of readiness in hope.
Look forward expectantly in hope.
Hold back expectantly in hope.
Be ready and available in hope.

Expectant, ready, available-to-respond hope!

The key to this attitude of hope in waiting is in the next words: "We wait in HOPE for THE LORD" and the "why's" follows that: "He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His Holy Name."

Are you without hope in your life, or in a particular situation in life? The first question to ask is- "What is my hope?" Is your hope in yourself, in your own ability to be strong and handle a situation, or what you or someone else can do for you? That hope is not lasting. We all will fail ourselves, and no one else can consistently sustain you or provide for you through all time.

There is a hope that lasts, and that hope is found when you find a line of communication with God. What is exciting is that God has given you two main lines of communication! First through prayer- talking to God just like you would another person. The second is through reading the Bible. God has chosen to give us the Bible for our direction and encouragement. Amazingly, the Bible is the primary way that God speaks to us. I encourage you, no challenge you, to start reading it actively, with persistence. You will find that when you ask God questions, or need Him to speak to you, He will. When something you have read from the Bible comes to mind in response to a situation, this is God speaking to you. God will speak to you in other ways also, but if you have never heard, or feel like you are having trouble hearing God, you might be missing a key ingredient- reading His Word.

If you actively read His word, and seek Him out through prayer, but are still entrenched in a pessimistic and hopeless time of waiting, ask yourself, "Where is my trust?". What do you trust in? Do you TRUST God? If you find yourself shaking your head 'no', you need to reevaluate why. Is there a root of distrust in your life that has entwined itself around your heart, ideals, and concept of who God is? If you distrust God, and God is the provider of hope, you will be separating yourself from the hope you need.

The Hebrew word for Trust, used in this passage of Scripture is defined as: trust
a.(Qal) trust, trust in have confidence, be confident be bold be secure
b.(Hiphil) cause to trust, make secure
2.(TWOT) to feel safe, be careless

Insert this into the Scripture we are looking at:
"In Him our hearts rejoice, for we ARE SECURE in His Holy Name"
"In Him our hearts rejoice, for we ARE BOLDLY CONFIDENT in His Holy Name"
"In Him our hearts rejoice, for we FEEL SAFE in His Holy Name"

God is a God of safety and security, who we can speak to with boldness and confidence. In His care, we are safe.

If you don't feel safe, is there something you are holding back from Him or holding against Him? If there is, take the time to tell Him. Go before God in a quiet place where you can be alone, and tell Him about your lack of trust and why. He will not look down upon you for what you are about to tell Him, and He is a big God, who is not intimidated by your questions or doubts. I encourage you not to feel ashamed of your humanity. He understands where you are coming from. You need be open before Him to give Him and opportunity to respond to you. If you don't provide an opportunity, you may very well be missing a chance for Him to communicate with you.

Finally, to move from a place of waiting in hopeLESSness, to one of hopeFULness, use the powerful weapon of speaking His word out loud. If you don't know of a verse of Scripture to apply, ask the Lord to provide one for you, and spend time reading your Bible. You can also search a particular subject on Bible Study . In the search field enter a word, and it will provide you with verses that have that word in it. Do you need hope? Enter in "hope" and search the New Testament: (go here). Then make sure you take the next step to write down the scriptures that speak to your heart, and read them out loud throughout the day and whenever you start feeling hopeless again. This allows the Word to enter your heart, soul, and being, inviting it to be alive and active in changing and encouraging you.

I encourage you to evaluate today what your attitude of waiting might be. If you have grown discouraged, may the Lord renew your hope, so that you may wait in a place of expectant hope once again!

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

In Hope,

(do you have questions or want to know more? email me at megphilp at live dot com, and we can talk!)


Mindi Hoellein said...

Hi! I just wanted to say that I totally agree with everything you said here. In church on Sunday the pastor asked us to think about what we have given up in order to follow Christ. You would not believe how many Christian friends I asked that responded with, "Why do I have to give anything up to follow Christ?" or "take up your cross and follow me, doesnt mean that we literally have to give something up to follow Him, its just a suggestion" ...WOW. That makes absolutely NO SENSE to me! Jesus gave His life for us and we should be willing to change or sacrifice anything that doesnt match up to what He wants for us and for HIS GLORY. That is the literal picture of the cross. Anyway, thanks for posting this. God bless you!

Connie said...

Megan, your mom emailed me the link to your blog because she was so impressed. Wow, so am I, it sounds like you are walking closely to the Lord, only God's spirit can inspire others such as you have.
Which makes me think that there is another way that God communicates with his children. He communicates through us to each other. The body of Christ ministers God's messages to us through another believer. Megan, you are a good example of God ministering through you. Keep it up, we need encouragement from healthy Christian just like you.

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