Confident Hope (Psalm 71:5)
Psalm 71:5, “For thou art my hope, O LORD God: thou art my trust from my youth.”
Worry is a universal human experience. Our brains constantly provoke us to evaluate our circumstances and identify threats to our well-being. Threats are many, but even when they are minor, we exaggerate them or imagine threats that do not exist. We leave ourselves with restlessness, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, short tempers, and feelings of hopelessness.
We are creatures of hope and need hope to live lest we lose the desire to live and just give up. It was in the psychology department of Duke University that a very enlightening experiment was conducted with laboratory rats. They wanted to see how long these rats could swim. Two containers were prepared with one container having a possible way of escape and the other having none. The rat in the container with no way of escape swam a few moments and then ducked his head into the water and drowned. The rat in the container with a possibility of escape, with hope, swam for several hours before drowning. The conclusion of their experiment was, "As long as there is hope, there is life." Hope is so important to us. When our hope is delayed, it is even painful to us.
Hope. We talk about it, and hear the word used frequently, but what does it mean? The American Heritage dictionary defined hope as: a wish for something with expectation; a desire accompanied with confident expectation; a happy anticipation of good.
Normally we use the word hope to express something uncertain. Our salvation in Christ is called a hope, not because it is uncertain, but because we do not yet enjoy the fulness of it (Romans 8:24-25). Salvation in Jesus Christ is exactly the opposite of this. In reference to the Christian life, the Bible word hope means certain, sure, confident salvation. As believer’s we can be absolutely certain our sin has been forgiven and that we have eternal life.
There is no hope apart from God. A person without Christ is a person with "no hope" (Ephesians 2:12). In spite of his troubles, the psalmist still finds hope in God. If you can trust anyone, it is God. His Word is true and always reliable. The psalmist was not ashamed to freely admit that the Lord had been his hope and trust from his youth. He was now advanced in years and still held that conviction. Hope was looking forward with anticipation. Trust is the confidence of the same.
God desires the Christian to enjoy the comfort of knowing he is eternally safe in Jesus. Those who teach an uncertain salvation rob Christians of this priceless comfort. The true Christian cannot be robbed of his secure blessings in Christ, but he can be robbed of the comforting knowledge of these blessings in this life if not properly instructed. It is not God's will for the believer to be unsure about whether or not he possesses these things; rather it is His express will that we "abound in hope" (Romans 15:13).
“Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances which we know to be desperate”. G.K. Chesterton
Questions to Consider:
· Are you developing a habit of trusting God in the difficult times of your life?
· Or are you frequently filled with worry and doubt and fear?
Points to Ponder:
· If you have trouble trusting, concentrate on getting to know God.
· Focus on what God has already done for you.
PRAYER: Father, thank You for sending Your Son to be my hope. You knew that this world would never satisfy my longings, and so You sent Your precious Son to do that. Forgive me when I look to anything else for my hope, and thank You for the pain that reminds me when I have moved my hope into anything other than Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship with Christ.