Get Your Hopes Up

Whenever I hear someone say, "Well, I hope it happens," I wonder if they realize the power of hope. What are you hoping for today—perhaps for a better marriage, a job promotion, or maybe that you'll have a child? Is it a vague hope? Hope is far more than a wish. The apostle Paul says that hope comes from heaven, that it is eternal (1 Corinthians 13:13).

When God spoke the promise to Abraham that he and Sarah would have a son, it birthed hope in his heart. But Sarah was far past the age of conceiving a child, and the promise seemed an impossibility. So what did God do? Genesis 15:5 says, "Then He brought him outside and said, 'Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.' And He said to him, 'So shall your descendants be.'" God gave Abraham a beautiful visual as an anchor for his hope. How many times did Abraham try to count the stars and use them to hold on to this hope in the years that followed? And the Bible says that Abraham "did not doubt or waver in unbelief concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and empowered by faith" (Romans 4:20). He could "hope on" against the impossible because he kept his eyes fixed on Almighty God, and that hope fueled his faith to the point where Sarah had the strength to conceive Isaac.

God wants you to get your hopes up. If God has spoken a promise to you, if you found a promise in His Word that you believe God has given you, I encourage you to put hope in front of that promise. God created this hope inside you, and He doesn't want you to be vague about it. Hope creates vision. Hope gives your faith something to anchor itself to, something to go after. For Abraham it was the stars. You need a picture of what you're going after to keep that promise alive in your heart, to create a vision so you can make it through the difficult times.

In Paul's prayer in Romans 15, he said, "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Paul was saying, "Take your eyes off your own limitations and focus on the God of all hope, because He's the One who's going to bring it to pass in His timing and in His way." God is faithful. But it's up to you and me to develop this hope that fuels our faith. Keep your hopes up because hope is from heaven!

 

“Did I Not Tell You?”

If you're like many people today, the pandemic has caused you to worry and think, "I was just getting ahead when this virus hit. What's going to happen with my finances and business? How am I going to make ends meet?" When we come under pressure like this, it's easy to forget what God promised you and to live frustrated, anxious, and afraid. Recognize that's a test. The enemy would love for you to get so caught up in what's not happening that you forget what God told you. He says, "Even in famine you will have more than enough. I'll make streams in the desert. Whatever you touch will prosper and succeed. The economy is not your source. I will supply all your needs according to My riches." Are you remembering what He says? Or have you let the circumstances, the trouble, and the stress cause you to dwell on the negative?

In the Scripture, even after Lazarus had died and been in the tomb for four days, Jesus said to his grieving sisters, "Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?" (John 11:40). They soon saw a resurrection. You may be facing a sickness, and you're worried, stressed out. God is saying, "Did I not tell you that I will restore health to you? Did I not tell you that by My stripes you are healed and the number of your days I will fulfill?" You have to start thanking God for what He told you instead of focusing on what you see.

When you're under pressure, it's so important what you allow to play in your mind. Maybe you're discouraged over how long your dream is taking. God is saying, "Did I not tell you that what I started I will finish? Did I not tell you that if you delight yourself in Me, I will give you the desires of your heart?" When people with more influence at the office are playing politics, trying to push you down, God is saying, "Did I not tell you when the enemy comes in like a flood, I will raise up a barrier? Did I not tell you I will fight your battles for you?"

When you remember what God says, you won't be worried. You'll have peace in the midst of the storm. You'll have faith to believe for the impossible. It's not complicated. Go back to His promises, go back to what He whispered to you in the night. Start remembering what He has spoken over you. Replay that over and over. As you dwell on God's promises, fear has to leave, doubt and worry cannot stay, and faith will rise in your heart.

 

Messages of Hope

I have a friend whose daughter-in-law had just found out that she was pregnant. The whole family was so delighted, but soon after their celebration, she had a miscarriage, turning her joy into extreme pain. She began to question where God was in this and to doubt whether she'd ever be able to carry a baby to term. She shrank back in fear of going through the hurt again and determined to not try again. As she did, she started to change and lost the vibrancy she once had.

Soon after her loss, she began to listen to our Sirius XM channel. Day after day she listened to messages of hope in the faithful, loving God who was there to help and strengthen her. She discovered that fear is not of God, that "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7). She began to break down the wrong pattern of thinking that had formed a stronghold in her mind. Courage and determination began to build, and she began to ask herself, "Am I ready to try again?" With time, she pushed aside the fear and the doubt and replaced it with faith and expectation. She fought through the barrier of being hurt again and eventually gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She broke through the chains that would have held her back and would have changed the course of her destiny and that of her family.

Fear like this comes to all of us, whether it's a fear of being taken advantage of, of failing, of being laughed at, or of being hurt again. But God says, "That is not from Me. It is from the enemy who's trying to hold you back from your destiny." Don't allow a painful experience to trick you into thinking you're going to have a painful life. You have to understand that God can heal what hurts. He is the mender of broken hearts. He can make you stronger than you have ever been before.

Today, make the choice to fill your mind and heart with messages of hope from God's Word. You can rise up in the strength of Almighty God and say, "I will not be held in a stronghold of fear. I'm going to break through the barriers that are trying to hold me back. I will walk confidently forward in the things of God."