ODJ: where’s your hope?

September 17, 2015 

READ: Psalm 71:1-24 

But I will keep on hoping for your help; I will praise you more and more (v.14).

Yesterday I received a double dose of bad news. In the span of 5 minutes, the words in two emails left me disappointed and doubting that a project I had worked on for years would come to fruition. I wanted to quit. What’s the use? I felt like going back to bed and starting the day over again.

Then I remembered Psalm 71. The psalmist (who might be David) complained that his enemies were conspiring to take him out in his old age (vv.9-10). “They say, ‘God has abandoned him. Let’s go and get him, for no one will help him now’ ” (v.11). His strength had left him. He couldn’t fight back. Should he simply curl up and die?

Yet the psalmist remembered his God, who had been faithful to him from childhood. He wrote, “From my mother’s womb you have cared for me” (v.6). The God who had been faithful his whole life would remain faithful now and into the future. He didn’t know how his present battle would turn out. He might lose. But considering his death, he wrote that God will “restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth” (v.20). The same God who was faithful in life could be counted on—even in death.

I still feel sad this morning, but I’m choosing to hope in God. I have several reasons to quit my project, but I have one large reason to press on that trumps them all. I believe Jesus will return and raise my body from the grave. He will reward every good thing I’ve ever done, so how can I cease my work for Him? (2 Corinthians 5:10).

—Mike Wittmer

365-day-plan: John 15:17-16:4

Read Isaiah 40:28-31 to learn where our true hope is found. 
Where have you lost hope? How might hoping in God empower you to keep going?