February 26, 2018
Daring to Hope
The thought of my suffering and homelessness
is bitter beyond words.
I will never forget this awful time,
as I grieve over my loss.
Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!”
(Lamentations 3:19-24, NLT)
Friend to Friend
When we look around at today’s world, hope usually isn’t the first word that comes to mind. In many ways we live in an age of uncertainty. If we allow our thoughts to linger on things such as the national debt, the condition of the environment, the increase in violence toward even our most innocent, and the looming moral bankruptcy of our culture, we can get pretty discouraged. The situation only compounds when we add our personal issues to these corporate ones. Life can be rough. When marriages fail, bank accounts run low, friendships end, or the everyday demands of a fast-paced life get us down, we sometimes feel the ground shaking beneath our feet.
Living in such an unstable world, we tend to have a propensity to worry. Other choices of fear, doubt, and bitterness call us to select their posture when life gets overwhelming. Yet God offers us another choice. Through Him we can dare to hope—not in the government, our family, a job, or even the church. God calls us to surrender our wills to His and rest our hope in Him alone.
Sometimes I get moving through life at a breakneck pace and forget to be daring with hope. I command the calendar, devote time to work, drive the kids around, do some laundry, take care of other chores and errands, make plans for dinner, check in with friends, and then get up tomorrow and start all over again. I need a yellow light as I’m racing through life to wake me up and say, “Slow down and pay attention!”
I got one of these wake-up calls recently while driving. Instead of a caution light, I got a caution bump. I had just dropped my girls off at a school activity and was on my way home. Earlier I had dumped out my purse on the passenger seat, frantically looking for something I needed at a moment’s notice. Now I was stopped at a red light, and I leaned over to put things back in my purse. Suddenly I felt a huge jolt as my van bumped into the minivan in front of me. I slammed the brake down hard, backed up, and went to talk to the woman in front of me. Thankfully, there was no damage to either car, but as I finished the short drive home, I was a little shaken. How could my foot have let up on the brake without me even realizing it? I was so caught up in my task that I slowly let the car slide forward without even being aware of what I was doing.
I laughed with God as I thought about what He has been teaching me through the Book of Jeremiah: I need to pay attention to really important things (like keeping my foot on the brake) instead of letting a small distraction (like my purse contents) put me in danger of hurting myself and others. This is so true in my spiritual life. The minutia of day-to-day life as well as the trials that so frequently present themselves put me in danger of missing the hope in God’s plans for me.
What kind of wake-up calls have you received from God lately? It is so easy to coast into human effort rather than dare to hope like Jeremiah did. His circumstances were rough. He was isolated from his family, imprisoned, falsely accused, and most people didn’t listen to his messages from the Lord. We see that he poured out his heart to God, but also chose to be daring with hope as we read his prayers in the book of Jeremiah and Lamentations which were both authored by him.
Where is God calling you to be daring with your hope today? Life may be scary right now. It may be a peaceful season. Either way, we can dare to hope in our God because His love never ceases and He offers us new mercies every morning. How can you receive those mercies today?
Dear Lord, I want to be daring with hope. Even when my circumstances are difficult and confusing, help me to lean into you. Wake me up from trusting in my human effort and help me to surrender completely to you. Thank you for steadfast love that never ceases and new mercies every morning!
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Where can you see God’s new mercies in your life today? Where is He calling you to dare to hope in His love and provision for you? Take a moment to write “Dare to Hope” in a place where you will see it throughout the day today – on your bathroom mirror (dry erase markers work great), a sticky note on your car steering wheel, or perhaps the screensaver on your phone.
More from the Girlfriends
Melissa Spoelstra is a women’s conference speaker, Bible teacher, and writer who is madly in love with Jesus and passionate about helping women of all ages know Christ more intimately through serious Bible study. She is the author of several women’s Bible studies including Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World which includes video teaching and daily study. She lives in Dublin, Ohio, with her pastor husband and four kids. Find her online at www.melissaspoelstra.com.
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