A Prisoner of Hope
It’s easy to “believe” until the crisis hits. Last March ushered in one of the fiercest battles of my life. Watching my son struggle physically was more than I could bear at times. My faith was challenged and guilt weighed heavily on my heart for allowing fear to run away with me. I thought I believed God at His Word, but these particular circumstances challenged everything I knew to be true. Doubt tried to raise its ugly head, leaving me weak and afraid. It would have been easier to succumb to it, but I had to fight with my faith as measly as it seemed! The circumstances called for Stones of Remembrance. Looking back over my life with gratitude was a weapon of warfare. And capturing thoughts that tried to defeat me was the key to victory. The situation would not dictate the results because God was on the Throne. Sovereign and in control. I had discovered the power of a grateful heart in the past. A mouth that expressed thanks and praise to God. I knew that God could not lie. His promises were true. His covenant undeniable. I clung like crazy to scriptures, and I thanked Him for every blessing we saw along the way. Giving thanks and declaring God’s Word literally pulled me up out of the pit of despair. As I ran to my place of Refuge, I became a prisoner of hope!
I have witnessed the Lord turning many things around for good. While frequent blood tests are a big inconvenience, our son is really doing very well. His condition is manageable with medication for which we thank God. He is driving again and his back is healing from the fall. He is strong physically and mentally, and God is using him in incredible ways in both ministry and business. Just last Sunday he was asked to share what God has taught him through suffering. His weekly blog has also been a testimony to others of God’s faithfulness. And he is helping lead a non-profit missions business with wisdom from above. God never wastes our pain. He uses us to encourage others. The testing of our faith through suffering develops perseverance, and then character, and then hope. And hope will never disappoint us. (Romans 5:3-5).
Read Hebrews 11:1-3
1. Define faith in your own words.
2. What does faith help us to do? (verse 3)
Read Zechariah 9:12
3. Of what are you a prisoner? In what way does this verse encourage you?
Read Hebrews 10:22
4. What detail seems important to you in drawing closer to God?
Read Romans 4:17 (best in NIV)
5. What do you think this verse might have to do with faith?
6. How does this verse compare with what you know of God’s method of creation?
Can we truly be sure of things we do not see? The Bible says we walk by faith not by sight. We are never to throw away our confidence because it will be richly rewarded. It’s easy to get short-sighted, allowing circumstances to get us off track. But God has the ability to create out of nothing. God promised Abraham he would be the father of many nations even when he had no children. God loves to work in impossible situations. Never despise the day of small beginnings because you never know what God is up to! Will we trust and believe in the face of lying circumstances? I’m a prisoner of hope. May that be what imprisons you as well.