How is your thought life? Are you hopeful or are you experiencing discouragement? It seems when things are going well, folks tend to be very hopeful about their future. Nevertheless, when life takes a turn for the worse, and you can’t see a way out of your dilemma, hope can be very hard to hold on to. Perhaps you have been in a tough place, and all hope seems to be lost. Before you give up on life or God, let me share some truths with you from God’s Word.
Proverbs 13 : 12 tells us, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes it is a tree of life.” It matters greatly where you and I place our hope. In what or whom are you placing your hope today? We must not place too much emphasis on hope and consequently, lose focus of our purpose for having faith in our hearts. As the scripture states concerning hope being deferred: it can make our hearts sick. If “heart sickness” is happening in your life today, it may produce all types of negative thoughts and emotions. This is why we’re instructed in Proverbs 4 : 23 “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”
The Word of God teaches us that when we are hit with hard situations and negative events that try to shape our perspective on life, we must guard our hearts from negativity. Solomon teaches us under the direction of the Holy Spirit that issues will spring from our hearts if we leave it unprotected. Therefore, keep your heart from becoming sick by utilizing the power of faith to support your hope.
Hope by itself has the power to sustain us. Even so, after a while, we can lose hope and be thrown into a downward spiral. What is the answer to this problem? It’s found in the scripture that I opened this column with today. Hope needs to be supported by a foundation (something greater than it), especially during trying times. There is such a thing as blind faith…where you know absolutely nothing about the outcome of a particular situation, but you continue to believe anyway. Then, there is biblical faith! This is faith that has been produced in your heart through prayer with your heavenly Father.
Take a few minutes and read all of Hebrews 11. You will see plenty of examples of ordinary people who, in prayer, received specific instructions from the Lord and then acted on their faith. This is true biblical faith at its best. Have you invested significant time in prayer about your current situation, or are you relying on hope alone? Allow me to give you an example of how biblical faith works, so that you’re not just hoping; you will have a sense of “knowing” what the outcome is going to be.
When God called Moses to lead His people out of the land of bondage (Egypt), the Lord told Moses about a land He was going to give to His people. God went on to tell Moses that this land of promise would flow with milk and honey. God also said the land would have houses they didn’t build, wells they didn’t dig, and vineyards they didn’t plant. However, since the Jews, nor Moses had ever been in the land of promise, they had to take God’s Word by faith.
One day, Moses sent spies into the Promised Land to see if it was as God had told them. When the spies returned, they brought back fruit from the land that confirmed what God had promised them. In other words, they had evidence (fruit) to confirm their faith and support their hope. It wasn’t blind faith. Once faith is released in your heart through prayer, it will fuel your hope. If you’re in a hard season, then seek the Lord until faith fills your heart. You will be able to move forward by God’s strength until the answer comes to pass in your life.
Hoping by faith,
Pastor Asa Dockery
Pastor Asa Dockery