Often in my life, I want to find hope in a variety of external changes. Maybe it’s financial security, good relationships, success or self-reliance. I can be tempted to believe that hope lies in achieving these things. I can work myself to death trying to be in control of my life, but I am becoming more and more convinced that hope can’t be found in any of these.
I can look around the world and see instances of all kinds of trouble, suffering, insecurity. I can look in my own life and see the same. So, if my hope lies in getting rid of the trouble, I am not doing very well at getting to hope.
If, however, my hope is God Himself, then I don’t need to worry about changing my circumstances in order to find hope. This is the concept that I call “rising above” the situation at hand and acknowledging God’s presence regardless of the seeming impossibility of the problem. This is not a denial, but rather an acknowledgment of both the problem and the God who owns the problem. I believe it is recognizing my abiding in the Vine, and accessing all that this abiding gives me.
The hiding place that I can experience all the time is being hidden in the strength of God, my tender Father. He becomes the tower I can run into, finding help and hope no matter what lies outside. He is the One who reminds me of His strength when my own fails me. He is the One who reminds me of His love when my own fails me. And He reminds me of His present reality of hope, which I need all the time.
Looking at the present reality and also acknowledging God’s reality in the middle of it is a different way of doing life. I can still feel worry, fear, and discouragement. But I have a place to go with it. I think often we decide the way to deal with these issues is to solve the problem, to dig ourselves out of the hole. This works until we can’t dig anymore. I don’t want to waste time digging when it doesn’t give me the desired result. I can solve one problem and almost instantly find myself in a different one.
Often, I hear the frustration in people who feel like they go from one problem to the next with no break. I know that feeling. I am realizing, though, that if my hope is in God, I have a constant foundation regardless of the onslaught of problems. I am not waiting for circumstances to line up to have peace and hope—I always have them because they are found in Jesus. At any moment of the day (and often many times a day), I get to refocus on Jesus, allowing His hope to flood me, and then rejoin the circumstance at hand with a renewed energy and encouragement. It is a simple refocus, but it makes all the difference.
When you abide under the shadow of Shaddai, you are hidden in the strength of God Most High. He’s the hope that holds me and the stronghold to shelter me, the only God for me, and my great confidence. Psalm 91:1-2
Re-published with the permission of Hannah Morrell at Borken & Hopeful, a ministry created for those who feel broken to fin hope in Jesus.