ODJ: Dare to Hope

March 24, 2018 

READ: Habakkuk 3:17-19 

Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: the faithful love of the Lord never ends! (Lamentations 3:21-22).

The lead singer of a local Christian band shared how he sat in a doctor’s office awaiting test results. Alone in the waiting room, he cried out to God and felt an overwhelming sense of peace. Like others in the audience, I leaned forward, expecting a joyful proclamation that the result of the cancer test was negative. Instead, the testimony ended with a quiet prayer of gratitude that God answered when he’d called, confirming the promise that He will never leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). For this believer, the test results took a backseat to resting in the knowledge that God was with Him.

This amazing example reflects the attitude of the prophet Habakkuk, who deliberately chose to look beyond disappointments and difficulty and focus instead on his unchanging and steadfast God (Habakkuk 3:19). “Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,” Habakkuk declared, “and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!” (vv.17-18).

Though it’s been many years now, I’ve never forgotten the words of that singer. I don’t know if he was diagnosed with cancer, but I have since encountered people who have been. And when treatment often causes as much pain as the disease, despair and despondency can easily be constant companions. Yet, even in the face of devastation, we can “still dare to hope when [we] remember this: the faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lamentations 3:21-23).

—Remi Oyedele

365-day plan: 1 Samuel 10:1-27

Read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 for Paul’s insights on God’s power even in suffering. 
How do you respond to suffering, whether experienced personally or in others close to you? How can God’s faithfulness encourage you and those around you?