Disappointing and debilitating
by Liz Howland • July 20, 2015 • Faith, inspiration, Rural Ministry • 0 Comments
This article is always written with prayerful consideration. My prayer is that it not be just ‘words on a page’ to you, but life giving and encouraging to every heart bringing clarity and Godly wisdom into whatever your situation.
Often as we wait for clear direction on any matter, we can become confused or discouraged. You may be waiting for a particular event to come to pass and it seems like it’s been a long time coming. Proverbs 13:12 (Message Translation) says,
‘Unrelenting disappointment leaves your heart sick, but a sudden good break can turn life around’.
(New Living Translation) states it like this, ‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when a dream is fulfilled, there is life and joy’. Many of you who have received recent good rains could relate to this. (Be assured, if you are still waiting for those rains and holding on with every fibre of your being, there are many praying passionately for you and THERE WILL BE A TURNAROUND!
Psalm 27:13.14 says, ‘What would have become of me had I not believed that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living! WAIT and HOPE FOR and EXPECT the Lord; be BRAVE and of GOOD COURAGE and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and EXPECT the Lord’. Sometimes there’s a period that requires us to ‘hope against hope’. In the light of seemingly impossible circumstances, we have to make a conscious choice to hold on IN HOPE until the answers break forth!
BIBLICAL HOPE IS A POWERFUL PRINCIPLE. IT IS NOT A PASSIVE THING, BUT AN EARNEST, WHITE HOT EXPECTION THAT ‘HE WHO HAS PROMISED IS FAITHFUL’.
Hebrews 6:19 (Amplified) states, ‘We have this hope/earnest white hot expectation, as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul’ (mind, will and emotions). This expectation, a divine promise from God is assured/rock solid and can be stepped out upon with confidence, knowing He is an ‘all seeing’, ‘all knowing’ supremely wise and compassionate God. He knows our fears and failings and continues to have confidence in us anyway and only sees us in our fullest potential. He wants us to step out across those chasms of life with abandon, knowing He will instruct us and accompany us every step of the way. He is exhorting us on and will be there with His everlasting arms to uphold us should we stumble.
‘This hope reaches further and enters into the very Presence within the veil’. Hope then is the key to stepping into the holy dwelling place, the sanctuary of Almighty God, Who ‘knew’ you, (was intimately acquainted with every part of you) before you were in your Mothers womb. He has a pre-ordained purpose and plan for you on this earth! Things He has uniquely designed for you to fulfill. Yielding to and obeying His plan is where the greatest peace and fulfillment is found. The question is will we respond to His gracious loving encouragement to ‘come up higher’ today?
As we travel this journey called life we all stray from that higher purpose God has for us. Because He loves us so much, He allows us to go our own willful way for a season, all the while watching over us like benevolent father watches protectively over his toddler. On that journey however, we will reap the consequences of the poor choices we make – but God has His ways of getting our attention! Hosea 2:14-15 says, ‘I will allure her/him, and bring her/him into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. …I will make the Valley of Achor (trouble), a door of hope’.
Often through life circumstances we suffer some unforeseen sideswipes, willfully choose to do things our own way or allow ourselves to be blown around by every emotion or appetite. This can only lead to confusion and lack of true fulfillment. It may seem like a good idea at the time, but the end result will bring much more disappointment and we’ll find ourselves in the Valley of Achor. This valley is a lonely dry restrictive uncomfortable place. The good news God promises is that in that place, when we arrive at the end of our own futile reasoning, we come to a place where we are willing to look for/value His plan for our life through that promised door of hope. Through that door we will the find the peace and fulfillment we have longed for in the deepest part of our being. There will be breaking forth of joy and peace like we’ve never known! We’ll wonder why we resisted His way for so long!
I pray, as you read this over a few times, God will illuminate areas of your life as He has mine. Areas where He would say ‘STOP’, you’re going the wrong way! In that moment, may His best and highest way be so gently be illuminated to your spirit. I have always found that ‘the wisdom of God is peaceable and pure and easy to be entreated’ (James 3:17) In another translation it expands out to say, ‘The wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and produces a harvest of good deeds; it is impartial and sincere’. I have experienced this grace of God in correcting me in areas where I previously could see no harm. You’ll probably gasp with shock, but when I first encountered traffic lights everywhere, I felt really annoyed and impatient and counted it sport to get across the intersection on the amber light! One day as I shot through yet another green/amber light, I felt a gentle prompting within saying these words: ‘that is rebellion’. There was no reproach or judgment, just gentle reproof. I was immediately chastened to the core and said, ‘Lord I’m so sorry, I’ve never seen it as that’! He then brought to mind the Scripture about obeying the laws of the land! Point taken! Our God is so gracious. Never fear Him, just reverence Him.
As I prepare for my next trip out west/south/north, I look forward to time spent with many of you. I KNOW God is upholding you with His righteous right hand – His hand of strength and security. May His ways, and His gently whispered promptings speak more loudly to you than the clamoring voices of doubt, fear and unbelief? May His rich Presence surround you and may His peace rule and reign in your hearts always.