Have uncertainties in the state of the world and the economy weighed you down? You can find a reassuring Hope in God. Learn how to embrace that hope in this devotional.
A God Who is Our Hope
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen.”
“Trusting is being confident of what we hope for,
convinced about things we do not see.”
Life is filled with uncertainties, isn’t it? The economy fluctuates, the housing market is up then down, the cost of living increases, storms can rage leaving people homeless in an instant, a diagnosis can change our priorities overnight, a job loss or a job change, a move across state or across the country that takes us away from the familiar, an unexpected pregnancy, a loved one called to active military duty, a sick parent to care for, a spouse that leaves, children that need our care and attention, a loved one dies … the list could go on. Any one of these events can collide into our lives at any time. Where, in the midst of life’s circumstances, do we find strength and courage? Where do we find hope? David, in Psalm 121 says,
“If I raise my eyes to the hills, where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip – your guardian is not asleep. No, the guardian of Israel never slumbers nor sleeps. The Lord is your guardian; at your right hand the Lord provides you with shade – the sun can’t strike you during the day or even the moon at night. The Lord will guard you against all harm; he will guard your life. The Lord will guard your coming and going both now on and forever.”
Our help, our strength and courage, comes from the Lord. When our hope is in the Lord and the Lord alone, we can face the uncertainties and challenges of life with confident trust and expectant faith in a God that loves us, is faithful to us, and has good in store for us. (Jeremiah 29:10-14a).
What does it mean to you when you read, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”? “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
To me it means that faith is not some abstract concept, but it is active. It has substance. Substance in what? In what God has already done in my life. In what Christ did at the cross and through His resurrection. In what God reveals in His Word and through Creation.
Faith, like everything else in my relationship with God, is interactive. I participate in having faith.
It means trusting God is a choice I make. And it is a choice I make based on four factors: The promises in the Bible; creation; my own personal experience (my story) and relationship with God; and other people’s stories of God working in their lives. How else could I have evidence? How else could I be confident in, and convinced of, what I do not see? God reveals Himself and his love to us in such a myriad of ways that it astounds me!
In Mark 11:20-24 an account is recorded where the disciples passed by a fig tree Jesus had cursed for not bearing fruit; … “and they saw the fig tree withered all the way to its roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi! Look! The fig tree that you cursed has dried up!’ He responded, ‘have the kind of trust that comes from God! Yes! I tell you that whoever does not doubt in his heart but trusts that what he says will happen can say to this mountain, “Go and throw yourself into the sea!” and it will be done for him. Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, trust that you are receiving it, and it will be yours.” (Emphasis mine).
Several years ago, I was in a situation where I wanted to leave the company I was working at, but I did not yet have another job to go to. I spent much time praying about this situation and asking friends to pray as well. When the time felt right, I communicated to my boss that “it wasn’t working out for me.” The truth was, I wasn’t the best fit for what he had in mind for the role either. Some people called that crazy, stupid or foolish. (And in some situations, it can be one or all of those things.) In this particular situation, I called it faith … because God was moving in my heart and my life to step out of my comfort zone.
I dove off the cliff into the river of faith and oh! How I wished I could swim upstream, get out, dry off and get back to my comfortable (although unfulfilling) place! But once in that “river of faith”, as I like to call it (because things move so fast and so out of my control, that’s what it feels like) I’ve learned from previous experience that the best thing to do is go with the flow; to trust, to pray, and to wait. I knew without a doubt, from previous experiences, that God would show up for me in ways I could never predict and in ways where His unmistakable handprints would leave an indelible mark on my heart … and grow my faith yet again.
And He did! Not only did He provide a job that was a better fit for my skill set, talents, and personality; He provided a substantial pay increase with excellent benefits (in an economic downturn); the hours I prefer to work; and multiple benefits I’d not previously been given. Yet I was able to meet all my obligations and was totally provided for in a month of uncertainty in ways I could never have foreseen or orchestrated. I share my story only to encourage you to trust the Lord with whatever you are facing in your life right now. He promises He will work it all out. (Proverbs 3:5-6).
When we are devoid of our own dependency and self-sufficiency, we open the door to experience the supernatural sufficiency of God! I wonder… how would our lives be different if our perspective was one of approaching the unknown as an adventure? I consider Hebrews 11 to be the “Hall of Faith” chapter. Whenever I need encouragement, it is a wonderful passage to read. Verse 8 says, “By trusting, Abraham obeyed, after being called to go out to a place which God would give him as a possession; indeed, He went out without knowing where he was going.” Wow! Now that’s an adventure! …
Granted, we may not be setting out on a journey like that, but do we really know what each day will hold for us? Each day can be an adventure that we trust God in! Each day we can place our hope in Him and in the promises of His Word (God’s Love Letter to us), instead of what our eyes see, what our temporary circumstances are, and what the news media reports. Oh, how easily the circumstances of the moment can crowd out the promise of eternity! The present can seem so real, so overwhelming, the unseen future so distant or illusory. But the opposite is true. To have hope we also must have an eternal perspective. Oh, dear friends, don’t let the present consume you. Instead, “Seek those things which are above, where Christ is.” (Colossians 3:1) and lay your burdens at the feet of Jesus. (Matthew 11:28-30).
God’s grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 9:8) and in His grace we also find hope.
“Let us come boldly to the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
“What is troubling you today? Is your heart burdened because of some problem that threatens to overcome you? Are you filled with anxiety and worry, wondering what will happen next? Listen – as a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ, you can turn these things over to Christ, knowing that He loves you and is able to help you. Don’t carry your burden any longer, but bring it ‘boldly to the throne of grace’ – and leave it there.” *
I encourage you to look up the Scriptures referenced, and I pray that God would speak to you through His Word and that you would find renewed hope!
This blog is by Freedom to Flourish Life Coaching Founder and Christian Life Coach, Jen Stone-Sexton. She is currently accepting new clients. You can learn more about Jen here.
Jennifer Stone-Sexton © 2022. Freedom to Flourish Life Coaching. All Rights Reserved.
* Hope for Each Day Words of Wisdom and Faith by Billy Graham, Copyright (c) 2002 by Billy Graham
Published by J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee
All Scripture references and quotations used with permission: Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern, Published by Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc., Clarksville, Maryland USA & Jerusalem, Israel
Photo Credits: Cover by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash | Photo 2 by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash