A Season of Hope
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
Why is it always easier to believe the bad stuff? Let someone tell you there is going to be an earthquake or a major attack and we say, “Oh my gosh! I knew it!” But let someone tell you that good things are headed your way and doubt springs eternal instead of hope. Is it because we have become so accustomed to dealing with the trials and hardships of life, handling the hurts and disappointments, all the while thinking we are giving it to God when, in truth, we are holding onto those hurts? Are we afraid that if we let our guard down and actually embrace hope, we will be blindsided by yet another devastating development? It is almost easier not to believe, than it is to rejoice with excitement that a season of hope and blessing is upon us. If you are like me, you’ve grown so accustomed to delayed hope that it seems to have become your life. I mean, it is all part of the whole “dying to self” thing, right? Where does earthly blessing fit into that mindset? However, we are told that God wants to bless His children with good things, and it is easy to rationalize because we achieve more growth in the hard times, anyway.
The Bible tells us that at age 99, Sarah laughed at the idea that God would finally fulfill His long-awaited promise of a child for her and Abraham. I guess this speaks to trust and faith, and sadly, I realize I must be short on both…and just when I started thinking I had come so far…! This has popped-up because I have been reading a series of Bible verses, devotionals and even prophecies, all proclaiming that a season of grace and blessing are right around the corner...literally within moments of happening. (Skeptical inner voice echoes, “With God, a thousand years is like a day…” but then I remember the Enemy knows scripture, too!) As I read the latest message of impending blessing this morning, I realized that my response was (reserved inner voice), “Okaaay…well…good. I hope it really happens. That will be nice.” NICE…?!?!? To receive the long-awaited, promised blessings of God?!?!? Instead, I should be shouting from the rooftops, “Praise God and thank you, Lord!!!! I KNEW You’d come through on those promises!!!!!!” But, instead, I find myself sadly confessing to Him that I am struggling with believing the good stuff, that the things He has promised me really are about to happen!
So…how do I get from here to there? How do I let go of skepticism and doubt, embrace faith and trust, and praise God for all of the blessings He has promised are just over the horizon? I confess my unbelief and ask Him to help me believe…help me trust Him fully, accept His Truth, and open my hands to own His blessings as if they are already part of my life. He already knows what is in my heart and mind, anyway, I might as well come clean and let Him remove that splinter of doubt that pricks my heart every time hope threatens to bloom within it. I think I’ll pull out that splinter, light it on fire and let it become a fragrant offering of trust to my God…the one who makes all things possible.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your limitless patience and abundant love. Thank you for this season of peace, hope and joy, and for the bright promise that You are making all things new and Your blessings are for us NOW! I confess that there is still some unbelief hiding in my heart and ask You to break that stronghold, once and for all, in Jesus’ name. Please help me emerge from this chrysalis of despairing hope as I embrace the realization of Your promises, navigate the shifting paradigms around me, and am transformed into the being of love and light You created me to be. I love You, praise You and rejoice in all You are doing, both in me and through me. I lift up my life and everything You have given me – what I have received and what is yet to come - offering it all back to You for Your honor, glory and service in Jesus’ name, amen.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf.” Hebrews 6:19-20
“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1:45
“Then they believed his promises and sang his praise.” Psalm 106:12
“So also Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:11