I think the world is going mad. Is it the End Times or is it just the end of all reason?
- Police are shot in the street
- Racial divides deepen
- Refuges stream out of Syria, Sudan, and other places where mad men reign
- A man drives his truck through a crowd, bent on destruction
- Children are snatched from innocence and thrust into sex slave trade
- Turkey quells a coup with the prospect of a government now becoming more hardline and dogmatic
- Russia outlaws all but the state church
- The good ole USA is hosting a presidential election with two candidates who seem to be the two worst choices available on the continent
This seems like a good time to abandon all hope, take my children, and run for the hills. Maybe we can hide out until the madness has passed?
Or maybe, just maybe, it is a good time to grab my big-girl pants, saddle up, and be a voice of reason in the middle of the fray. After all I am called to "always be ready to make a defense to everyone who asks me to give an account for the hope that is in me!" (I Peter 3:15)
But in order to speak about the hope within me.....I am going to have to be a woman of hope.
Then I can speak of it, and even if no one listens, I can proceed with hope as long as I keep my eyes focused on faith and my heart planted in truth.
But where do I find hope, when I am surrounded by hopelessness? How do I become a woman of hope?
Where Do I Find My Hope?
Scripture is clear: there is only one spot to find our hope. Only One. Here are a few examples:
- "And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You." (Psalm 39:7, NASB)
- "Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the LORD." (Psalm 31:24, NASB)
- "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I have hope in Him." (Lamentations 3:24, NASB)
- "your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father" (1 Thessalonians 1:3, NASB)
- "How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God" (Psalm 146:5, NASB)
- "who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God." (1 Peter 1:21, NASB)
I cannot hope in diplomatic solutions nor military might. I cannot place my hope in man or the world. I can ONLY hope in God.
But what do I do when I am not feeling it and I need to find more hope? What about when my words declare my hope in God, but my heart feels dry and helpless?
Where I Find More Hope
As always, the answer is in the Word. In fact 2 Corinthians 3:12 tells us we HAVE "SUCH a hope."
Such a hope. Such an amazing, unending, potent, streaming HOPE! And we get it from:
- the Bible: "in His word do I hope" (Psalm 130:5)
- God: "For my hope is from Him" (Psalm 62:5)
- God's refilling: "the God of hope fill you ...so that you will abound in hope" (Romans 15:13)
- God Who sets hope before us: "to take hold of the hope set before us." (Hebrews 6:18)
- God Who lays up hope for us: "the hope laid up for you in heaven" (Colossians 1:5)
Isn't that amazing news?
When more bad reports flash across my feed, I don't ever have to rely on my own strength or ability to manufacture up some hope. Instead, I turn to the God Who lays up hope, Who sets hope before me, and Who wants to fill me with it!
How To Be A Woman of Hope
How do I pull off being a woman of hope in a world careening toward the edge?
- I put my hope in God.
Just read Psalm 42:11- "Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God" (NIV)
Psalm 42:11 instructs me to hope when I feel least like it. I personally would rather wallow in my despondent reactions to the doomsday predictions. But the very act of "putting" is decisive and deliberate. I really have only three choices. I can be hopeless or I can PUT my hope in man's solutions or I can PUT my hope in God. My money is on God!
- I get in the Word.
Never was it more important that to be daily in the Bible. It is my hope vitamin. It is my inoculation against despair. It is my eternal perspective in the face of temporal madness.
- I grab hold of the hope God laid up for me.
I go back again and again to the source. I can't conjure up hope. I must draw from the reserves God laid up for me. I hope IN God and I get my hope FROM God.
Wanted: Women of Hope
If our world continues this spiral downward, it will need women of hope more than ever.
Flippant comments of, "don't worry, be happy" or "it will all work out in the end" will be of no value.
Busy schedules filled with vaporous, unimportant activities will make us unavailable.
Voices of despair, complaint, and selfishness will make things worse.
INSTEAD: let us be like the prudent women in Matthew 25 who have light for the darkness. Our hope can be like that light.
Here is the deal: I don't have much hope for the current situation. I really don't. But I have hope in God. In His eternal plan. In His power to intercede. In His ability to redeem. And even in His willingness to use little 'ole me to encourage others with HIS hope.
Read the following promise dear sister. Read and believe! God wants to use us and the world needs us!
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.