I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Yesterday morning when I woke up I read the daily verse on my phone first thing. It was from Psalm 23. Very familiar and very comforting. Then I clicked on the news page and got completely and utterly horrified! What’s Russia up to? Where’s the missing plane? People can’t access their doctors because of the continuing healthcare crisis? Iran and nukes? The NSA doesn’t seem to plan on stopping their illegal spying... I had to stop reading.
I went back to the verse of the day and clicked on the whole chapter!
The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
Woke up this morning to the same exact headlines. I hope Russia doesn’t take over the planet, I hope we don’t get sick and need a specialist, I hope that plane didn’t secretly land somewhere to be used as a bomb in a few days, I hope, I hope I hope...
Ironically, we studied from Habakkuk in church on Sunday and “the righteous shall live by faith (2:4)!” Because I believe in Jesus, God sees me as righteous (Romans 3:22), so I am required to live my life by trusting in God.
Trusting God is not synonymous with wishing or dreaming. Paul describes people who trust in God as overflowing with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13). Not regular hope but confident hope. And confident hope is a realistic expectation and not a pipe dream. King David said, “No one who trusts in (God) will ever be put to shame,” never embarrassed or disappointed for trusting in Him (Psalm 25:3).
And since God IS the source of hope (Romans 15:13), he makes the ones who trust in him overflow with confident hope regardless of the impending doom lurking in the headlines of the daily news.
First of all thank you for being able to fill me with hope and encouragement all the time and not only when things are rosy. Thank you that trusting in you brings peace and joy into my life in spite of any dooming circumstances. Thank you that the kind of hope you give is actually a confident expectation that you see me and you take care of me just like you promise. Thank you that YOU are my Shepherd who really does give me all that I need. I love you and I praise you and I pray in your Son’s name, amen.