1 Chronicles 19:13 “Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the LORD do that which is good in his sight.”
In the study of people who succeeded through great trials, you find a consistent thought.
They lived on through the greatest of difficulties because they had hope.
World War II was a nasty, ugly war. Germany marched to conquer the world. Countries found themselves joining an alliance to fight against this advancing evil. At the forefront were men who led their countries into battle.
Winston Churchill, England’s Prime minister at the time is quoted saying:
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
“For myself I am an optimist — it does not seem to be much use being anything else.”
Optimism is rooted in hope. But what we hope in matters.
If you live long enough, you will live to tell of someone that has let you down; disappointed you or failed in epic fashion. For some, the failure left us wounded, bleeding and some with scars that remind us often. There are those whose hurt has gone so deep that they vowed never to trust anyone ever again.
Such thought is of the devil – and I will tell you why.
Hope is perseverance through trials because we believe that there is a greater good. Whether that good is in a person, a job, a government, a church or a pastor; we find that once human hands touch it, it has every opportunity for failure.
You may think that fatalistic, but hear me out. There are some certainties in this life. One is that man is a liar.
Romans 3:4 “God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.”
Second, my own heart will betray me:
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
But I must place my trust in God.
Psalms 56:11 “In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.”
In contrast to trusting God, He tells us:
Psalms 60:11 “Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.”
We are told:
Psalms 43:5 “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”
Our trust, our hope must be in God and His Word. Without it, we are, of men, most miserable.
Show me a person who has lost hope and you will find someone willing to commit suicide or murder.
Addicts are such people. When faced with the task of quitting, many fail at trying because they have lost hope that there is help. Help fails when they leave out the greatest element for success – God!
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Here, we have a recipe for how to handle situations and circumstances beyond our ability, beyond our understanding, and beyond any of our expectations.
It is first and foremost Who we trust that matters. How deeply and how completely we trust God is up to us. God tells me – with all my heart.
He tells me to abandon all human efforts; all human reasoning and wisdom. I must wholly lean on Him and trust Him completely.
God tells us that there is ALWAYS a way out.
1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
The more I trust God and see His promises fulfilled, the more I trust.
Trust begets trust. Hope begets hope – when that trust and that hope is in God.
Whatever you may be facing today, God already knew what it was and how you can get through it. He has got your back. When things don’t turn out the way I thought they should I maust always remember;
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
You and I are so finite and selfish in our view of ‘good’.
When we can see as God sees, trust that He WILL work it out for good; then I can submit to whatever it is that comes my way.
Hope will flourish when faith and trust are rooted in God’s Word.