You hear on the news lately that the economy is bad and companies are going under. Many people are losing their jobs. There is always the threat of terrorism. Our young people are disillusioned and confused and many have taken their own lives. Criticism of the President and government is rampant and brutal. The political candidates claim to have the answers for a better world. But what does God say? What does His word have for us in times like this? What are we putting our hope in?
One of my favorite verses in the Old Testament, and I have quoted it hundreds of times, is Jeremiah 29:11 — “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a HOPE.” This was a promise God spoke to the Prophet Jeremiah to give to the people of Israel who were in exile. Being in exile was discouraging and oppressive. The Israelites were not free to live as they desired. But God instructed His Prophet to tell the people, “I have a HOPE and a future for you.” The only way they could have hope and a future was if God would take them out of exile and set them free.
Today, we live in a free country. We are not ruled by an oppressive dictator, and we have plenty of “rights” to live quite well. But many are living in their own personal “exile.” Some are battling serious health problems, depression, confusion, anxiety, and sorrow from loss. Maybe you are struggling with some of these issues. I want to point you to some scriptures that explain to us how God is a “God of hope” and that He has the answer for ALL of our problems and struggles. He can and WILL bring us out of our “exile.”
Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Without hope we can become physically sick. Medical professionals today speak about the many physical ailments and diseases that are caused by emotional stresses. But Romans 15:13 says we can be filled with hope by the Lord: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Why should we be discouraged when the Holy Spirit will help us believe and abound in hope?
The Israelites in the time of the exile didn’t have the Promises of Jesus as we do today. We have an even greater hope because of Jesus, who became the perfect sacrifice, suffered, died and rose again in glory and power so that we could claim His righteousness and His promises. If you have made Jesus the Lord of your life, you have stepped into God’s Kingdom and into all His Kingdom has available for you. THAT’S GREAT NEWS!
Proverbs 16:3 teaches us, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Are we committing our efforts to the Lord, or are we trying to do things by our own power? Are we worrying instead of trusting?
Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” Not only does God give us hope but He is FAITHFUL to fulfill His promises. He cannot lie. I believe most people do not doubt what God can do, but they doubt that He will do these things for them. I used to struggle with this until I learned about the character of God when I studied His promises. So many times we fail to receive what God has for us because we fail to believe He is who He says He is, “The God of HOPE.”
The enemy, the devil, wants us to doubt God. He wants us to get caught up in the negative. The devil is a LIAR, he is the father of lies!! God is TRUTH and He cannot lie. John 8:31-32 says, “If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
Romans 8:24 explains more about this hope: “For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” The Israelites had to wait for God to take them out of exile and set them free. God had a plan, and His plan worked.
God has a plan for YOU, to get you out of your personal exile. It can start by you turning over to Him all of your struggles and fears. Write down some of these scriptures on hope and put them up in your home where you will see them and read them every day. Renew your mind by filling it with His word. We spend so much of our time obsessed with bad things, negative things. We must counteract the negative with God’s word. Let His word be in the forefront of your thoughts. Dare to trust in the “God of hope,” the God of truth, the God who loves you! He has a HOPE AND A FUTURE for YOU!!
Let’s pray: “Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for your word today and that you are speaking to me through these words of hope. Forgive me for doubting that there is a hope for my future. I know now that you cannot lie and you are faithful to fulfill your promises. Right now, I claim your word for my life. Help me to keep your word before my eyes, to hide your word in my heart and to renew my mind with your words for me. Thank you for loving me and for providing for me a way out of my exile and into the promise of a good future. I ask this all in Jesus precious name, Amen.
**All scripture references are taken from The English Standard version.
By Sherry McPherson | April 2, 2008 3:18 pm | Comments (2)