ODJ: hope

September 15, 2014 

READ: Psalm 65:1-13 

You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our saviour. You are the hope of everyone on earth (v.5).

Today was a day of gladness; tonight has been difficult. A seemingly small event had unleashed a torrent of emotion in me. The day before, my husband and I had received difficult news. Being stirred with faith, during the daylight hours I had grabbed on to the inexplicable determination and joy God placed in my heart—even in that difficult place. As the day turned into evening, though, I didn’t feel victorious. I felt lonely, discouraged and frustrated.
Rather than giving up, I leaned into God’s presence and poured out my heart. Not in a bitter onslaught. Not with a litany of excuses. Not a recounting of heroic sacrifices. I simply remembered.

Less than 24 hours earlier, God had spoken to my heart: this is going to be a good year. Asking the Lord for encouragement, I picked up my Bible and read Psalm 65. With no grand exclamation, no flood of expectant emotion, no immediate resolution to my concerns, I set my heart on these words: “You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance” (v.11). In that moment, I chose Him. In the trial, I chose hope.

Revealing not only the promise of blessing, Jeremiah 17:7 makes evident the heartbeat of hope (Psalm 65:5): trust. Because it’s a quality revealed by an eternal God, hope can’t simply be conjured up by us. With or without us, hope lives. But it’s our choice as to whether it will live in us. More than the desire for a happy life, hope calls us to press forward even though we have yet to see the completion of what we hope for and to release control so that we can rest in His strength (Romans 5:5, 8:24-25; Hebrews 6:18-19, 10:23).

—Regina Franklin

365-day plan› John 14:15-31

Read Lamentations 3:17-26 and consider Jeremiah’s declaration in light of his circumstances. 
What enemies of hope do you face? If hope has been repressed or lost, what can you do to restore it?