Posted on August 26, 2020 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters
“God may not give you what you want, but He always gives you what you need” – Stedman
Hope is a powerful attribute. With hope you can press on through most anything… without it, we lose our will to fight or even live. Hope denotes a sense of trust and an expectation of something good or beneficial in the future. Therefore, the object of our hope must be trustworthy, faithful, and able to deliver what it promises. Over the past year I can see where we had put our hope in doctors or some new treatment to be the answer for Laura’s brain bleed… and each time to have those hopes dashed. Several prominent vascular Neurosurgeons looked at her case and offered no hope; treatments were tried that gave some relief, but in the end the removal of the cavernoma would be the only option to avoid a fatal outcome. I can remember certain time periods where hope seemed a foreign idea, but in those same time periods I can look back and see how God was redirecting my hope towards Himself… the One who could deliver on His promises. It was as if God was removing options from the table only to reveal He was the way, the truth, and the life, and no other would receive His glory.
In the midst of a trying fall where many other things were demanding our attention, through a mutual friend God led Laura back to Dr. Scott and a viable plan to remove the cavernoma. Weaving through the necessary steps to reach the surgery date was quite trying… even downright frustrating, but only because I was imposing my expectations on the plan and not looking for God’s design and will.
A lot of familiar verses weaved through my thoughts; verses about God’s faithfulness, goodness, and love. The most prominent verse became, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” The phases ‘not for harm or disaster’ and ‘future and a hope’ captured my attention and anchored my trust in God. These statements offered an assurance or trust that His perfect will would be done with an expectation of something good or beneficial in the future. It was this promise that lowered my frustration level (I wish I could tell you it went away) not just with the surgery, but in other circumstances as well. My hope waned at times, but God did not allow it to falter. Each time He acted through something or someone to bring me hope.
As I began to look beyond the promise God had offered His people, I began to see His directions for a steadfast hope; He says, “In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.” (Jeremiah 29:11-14) This is the promise that enables us to claim, ‘Prayer wins the day!’ It is also the truth that causes me to look for God’s provision in each day, a provision ‘of what we need and not what I want.’ This is not an empty hope, but one filled with the substance by which He has proven Himself faithful time and time again. The ultimate act being Christ’s work of salvation evident in His life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, as well as the hope of His return to bring us home to our future in God’s presence. It is this same truth that causes Paul to write, “For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.” (Philippians 1:20-21)
There will be many more battles to face, if for nothing else that has been shown in the past 2 weeks. We took a huge sigh of relief after the surgery, only to step onto a new battleground. Thank God that when we focused our thoughts again, it was evident that He was already there, prepared and providing all that is necessary for life and godliness on our part.
For hope to be sustained it must have as its object one who is faithful and true. For this reason, “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.” (Romans 15:13)
Praying 4 U… because prayer wins the day
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.
Think About This: “It hurts when God has to PRY things out of our hand!” – Corrie Ten Boom
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. -1 Peter 3:9
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.