“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, … plans to give you HOPE and a future…” Jeremiah 29:11
There is hope. Many know that our company, Perry Marketing Group, went belly up last year. I was disappointed but not devastated. Having your name plastered in Crain’s Detroit Business as a business that filed “bankruptcy” is not a good thing. But God is still good and I know what the Word says, “we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: And HOPE maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:3-5).
We went through some tribulations – personally and financially. It was tough. I was expecting things to turn around for the company. Really trying to make it work. For a while it looked like things were going to turn around – then BAM! A call from the IRS shakes my world. Another call regarding our housing which dramatically changed for the worse. Our live-in niece needs constant attention due to all the “drama” surrounding her life. A new commitment seems to be taking too much time and I feel overloaded and stressed. My optimism waned and finally dwindled. We had to make the decision to close. I was weary and battle fatigued. Ever been there?
Recovering from such a loss takes time – emotionally, financially and even physically. Yet Spiritually, I am stronger than I’ve ever been. When you go through times of testing, God deposits things in you that you would have never gotten any other way. I’ve learned a valuable lesson on forgiveness.
I believe when God closes one door, He opens a window. I am filled with promise! I am expecting! What do we do in between? Stand steadfast in faith. Faith is the substance of things, but HOPE is the hook. How do we abide in HOPE until the promise is comes?
The Lord directed me to a Scripture that answered my very simple question. “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 NIV).
I said to myself, “I have hope.” When the situations and circumstances in my life began to change, I realized I really didn’t have hope. Not the kind of HOPE that God wants us to have. Hope is trusting God to act in His good timing – not our timing. For our hope is in God not circumstances or feelings. Our confidence is to be in Him. Nothing should change this hope. That’s why faith and hope are deeply tied together.
My faith was strong, but my hope was weak. Thus, the promises of God could not manifest in my life. Consequently my joy and praise decreased. That’s not what God wants for me according to Jeremiah 29:11. I realized that I saw hope as “wishful” thinking. I learned hope is not just a feeling. Hope is an attitude that directs us to higher heights.
Hope is patient expectation and eager anticipation. Not excitement. Even though we are excited when we hope. In Proverbs 10:28, it says “The hopes of the godly result in happiness…” But excitement can waver. Hope is to be placed in God’s unchanging hand. We are to completely rely and depend on Him. And hope gives us courage (Job 11:18) so that we are not afraid, worrying or fretting about things out of our control.
Now, I know that true hope is: complete assurance of victory through God. In Romans, it says, “…Hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we HOPE for what we do not yet have, we wait patiently for it.”
I heard a minister at church say, “Your patience is tied to your promise.” At the time, I really thought I knew what she meant. Now, going through some challenges, I know exactly what she means. Faith without hope is hopeless. Faith and hope mixed together produces the results of faith…our harvest. Our overflow will come when we wait patiently on God’s timing – and with joy! As I’ve said before, “I’m having fun in 2001 and God is going to restore so much more!”
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