Hope is a key to my staying focused on the Lord. It is one of God’s gifts that I can lose sight of quickly. It happens in the blink of a thought! I stray away for a time.
You all know those thoughts: fear that I have failed God or others, fear that I will not get through a time of grief to feel whole again, fear of what a medical test will show or has shown, fear of the future and what it holds.
I rob the present of God’s peace when I worry. Oh, how I hate catching myself doing this. Yet, if these kinds of thoughts go undetected they escalate and the feelings that accompany them do as well.
When I snap back from my mental straying, I am humbled. My desire is to discern quickly the negative side trips I take from the path where God can teach me. I want my hope focused on Him, not on tomorrow. Yet looking back to former days, I can remember that he has never forsaken me. Some of my “tomorrows” did hold harsh news.
He faithfully steered me through those rough times. I could not depend on my own strength. He and His strength kept me moving and remaining hopeful. These were His deepest times of teaching me, an answer to this Psalm’s plea.
Scripture tells us that there is faith, hope, and love and that the greatest of these is love. My saying that hope is needed to keep me focused does not diminish love. It is God’s love that helps me to return to His path when I get sidetracked. My remembrance that He is my hope, strengthens my faith.
He beckons me to follow this triune pattern by putting all three of His gifts into their proper perspective, centered in Him. When they work in tandem I am able to remain hopeful.
Prayer: Lord, my deepest longing is that I stay steadfast as I hope in You, follow You, and trust in You completely. Amen.
About the author:
Lynn Severance is a retired elementary classroom teacher. She lives in Lynnwood, Washington. She writes to encourage others as God has encouraged her during 29 years of living with daily physical challenges.
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What is the one thing that can attempt to rob you of hope? What means have you discovered that help you prevent the robbery? How has God worked with you in past times when your hope tank was low in fuel? What means did he use to fill you up again with himself and with his confidence to persevere?