“The heart if it is this: to make the Lord and his immense love for you constitutive of your personal worth. Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. God’s love for you and his choice of you constitute your worth. Accept that, and let it become the most important thing in your life.” – John Eagan
Difficult times are among us all. Whether directly in our own experience, through a friend or relative, or in the anxiety of change: The existences of turmoil in the world today have affected our lives. We are in the middle of the turbulence of societal changes and the testing of resilience in the essence of what we depend on. Theories and hearsay are flying about: From the pages of the newspaper to the editorialized reports of the media, fear is being used to beat down the peace of mind in society. Armchair generals of solution are populating the news, hypothesizing propaganda of political upheaval, and utterly burying result of action in blame, misdirection and fear. The word hope is being abused by likening it to things that are bound to contain failure, and in the long-term will have results that must be counteracted against. An overall resolution from a political entity is not the answer to what most individuals are questioning these days. Hope is a pivotal currency in the culture of helping people feel sustained through the difficult times. What we are placing that hope in seems to be the latest marketing ploy for confidence in the public arena. Oddly enough, the public arena is what has abused the trust of the people in the last 50 years. In light of overwhelming anxiety, a lack of reasonability in action, constant context without peace and belief aligned with political agreement; we must know that the source of our hope is worthy of combating these difficulties and secure with personal interaction of sustenance, exemplified in results which reflect personal experience. Rather than create one’s own icon of hope, we should reflect what Isaiah says, “…those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
God in his sovereignty is worthy of our hope. The Lord, in his omnipotent love, cares for his own. Is this something we truly believe? Do we identify ourselves as valuable as this to Him? The Lord in his understanding of his creation, enumerating the hairs on your head, would be rather trivial in this factoid without knowing the intimate needs of your heart, nor longing for the best for you in your life. This is the Lord worthy of hope. The Lord so concerned with mankind and their needs that he sent his Son on their behalf, that they might have access to God’s goodness forever. This is the same God who causes all things to work together for the good of his purpose. He is the orchestrater of universes and relationships and provision of needs. He is the sovereign power who has control not only over the ages, but also the specific events of each human being. He is a worthy place to have our hope rest in. His intense desire is for our strength to be in Him, through knowing and trusting Him, is fulfilled in the consistency of our hope remaining in Him through difficulties and experiencing his peace in our lives. This is the peace which transcends understanding. Peace which is visible, overwhelming and all-encompassing. This peace sustains our hope as we wait upon our Lord. Prayerfully and full of hope, we trust him for the reality of our needs. Sustenance of our hearts, relationships, work, minds and physical needs: This is the hope in the Lord who cares for those he loves, and has promised to provide.
One of our most difficult battles in the middle of trials is the mindset of hope in the timing of provision. To comfort us amidst this difficulty, he gives us scripture, prayer and people to help us through. Our reliance on Him is an essential part of our relationship with God. Dependence on the Lord is an innate facet of being near to Him. As we draw nearer to Him we understand this completion in his provision. We also come to know that his timing is perfect. The situations of his timing may not always feel so providential or contextually understood in moment of difficulty, but they are bringing us to the places where God intends to use us. The life of Joseph is a perfect example of this as we see him thrown in a pit, sold into slavery, thrown into jail, and exalted to run a country in time to save a people from a famine. God used his life to help others and to bring him to places where God could use Joseph’s hands to touch others. Not to infer that Joseph understood his purpose of his life while living through it, but his life was marked with the hope of the Lord caring for him and providing for him. From the pit to Potiphar’s house, from being thrown in jail to managing the running of it, or from being hated by his brothers to their love at his forgiveness and graciousness despite their actions: The timing of the Lord to accomplish significant things in Joseph’s life was perfect. God’s timing and provision is worthy of hope. He is never late, nor is he early. He is not providing us a series of hoops to jump through so we can finally enjoy his blessing, responding our fervent caution so we hop through them in the right order or the right time. His sovereignty is larger than that. Do you believe He is the sovereign Lord over all? Does the all knowing, all powerful, all encompassing God Most High resonate in your heart as the Lord who is in control of everything? Be encouraged, The Lord who stated simply yet powerfully, “I Am,” is the same God of who loves you and longs for you to know the perfect timing of his plan for you. The hope in his perfect timing is tied to his sovereign power and the provision for those He loves. Joseph rested in his knowledge of the love and care for him by the Father. We should emulate Joseph in this and respond with hope in Him who does not change. The sustenance of our lives is held in Him who loves us; He who did not reserve his Son as a sacrifice for our reunion with his heart. Understand his worthiness of hope. Know his love, which provides not the peace of understanding every twist and turn, but the peace which transcends all understanding, embodied in the perfect timing of the God who loves you. The God who longs you to feel the pleasure of his purpose; who bids us to leave the disbelief of discouraging debate and live with the hope which sustains those who love him, and provides peace which embraces those who know his love. Live in this hope. Live in the hope that you are his and He will provide for us in our needs. Let it become an important part of who you are and let inspire your heart and the heart of others, as you live in the grace of the Lord of Lords.