I Found My Hope

Strength for the Journey Ministry

We’ve all experienced that moment of panic when we realize we’ve lost something: our keys, our car in the grocery store parking lot, our presentation for an important project at work, our child at the mall…the list could go on and on. However, have you ever lost your hope? Just can’t seem to find it anywhere? You’ve looked deep within you, but it’s just not there?

I know! Me too! Over the past year, I found myself searching for hope. I’d lost it somewhere between having a book released and trying to get it out to the masses. I’d see little victories along the way…praise reports of how God is using it to minister to readers, small doors opening for speaking engagements or book signings…but for the most part, progress has been slow causing me to misplace my hope.

Biblical hope is a desire combined with confident expectation. To hope means that we desire something with the belief in the possibility of obtaining it. When we lose the belief that God will come through for us and that He will bring His promise to pass in our life…we lose hope.

The Lord recently spoke Psalm 27:14 to me.  Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!
It’s so encouraging when God whispers a promise into our spirit. Yet, as the clock ticks by and the pages on the calendar turn without seeing the fulfillment of our promise, we are apt to lose hope if our hope is not securely anchored in Christ (Hebrews 6:19).

Today as I was reading Psalm 42, the Lord showed me a key to finding and holding onto our hope. I’d encourage you to read the entire passage but look with me at verse 5 and 6.  Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.  O my God, my soul is cast down within me; Therefore, I will remember You from the land of the Jordan, and from the heights of Hermon,
From the Hill Mizar.

First, the psalmist talked to himself. Don’t we do that when we lose something? “Where did I put those keys?…Where was that kid the last time I saw him?” When we find ourselves without hope, the first thing we should do is ask ourselves the question, “Why do I doubt the promises of God? Why would I question His faithfulness?”

The next thing the psalmist did was to begin to praise God. Throughout the month of November, I like to post a daily “thanksgiving post”. I’ve seen others do it as well. It is a daily reminder that we can always find something to be thankful for. As a matter of fact, we have much to be thankful for. When we look back at all God has done, which is exactly what the psalmist did, it gives us hope for our future. God doesn’t change (Hebrews 13:8). If He came through for me before, I can anchor myself in the belief that He’ll do it again.

The psalmist put his hope in God. Our hope must be anchored to Christ; to His Word and His promises. If we look at our situation, we can easily lose focus and become hopeless. But if we’ll speak encouragement to ourselves, praise God while we wait and remind ourselves of past victories…we’ll soon find our hope again.

By the way…I found my hope again! 🙂

Blessings,

Cindy

In Due Season

Strength for the Journey Ministry

Isaiah 50:4 “The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning; He awakens My ear To hear as the learned.
There are many times in my life that I’ve had more questions than answers from God. I’ve often found there to be times when I didn’t understand what He was doing, or how He was moving in my circumstances. It was in these times that I needed an in season word. A word that comes at just the right time that explains the season I’m walking through with God and thrust me into a greater understanding of His love and care for me in every circumstance.
God orders our lives in seasons just as He works in the natural in seasons. Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us that everything has a season. In the natural, we experience four seasons: summer, winter, fall, and spring. If we reflect on our life in Christ, we’ll see we have gone through these same seasonal cycles in our spiritual life. It’s important to understand this principle because it helps us locate where we are in our walk, understand what we are going through and gives us hope for where we are going. When we can identify the season we are in with God, we can cooperate with Him where He has us and have greater incite as to how to pray and bear fruit within that particular season.
Seasons are temporary. As much as I like the fall season in the natural, it’s not going to remain fall forever. The hope of winter is that spring will soon follow. We only have grace for the season that we are in – not the one we used to be in or the one we’d like to be in. So we need to tap into that grace and walk joyfully within our season.
Psalm 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season.
Fruit only comes forth from a tree in its proper season. There are seasons in our lives where we are to prepare for planting, seasons to plant seed, to be pruned, to harvest, and seasons of rest. It’s important to discern our spiritual season. Often, we think God is not answering our prayers. However, the reality is that we may not be in the “season” for that prayer to be answered. We may, for instance, be in a season of resting and waiting on God. We can’t assume that God is not going to bring His promises to pass in our lives just because we don’t see promises fulfilled within our timeframe. Otherwise, we can pluck up seed that was diligently planted in the planting season before it has had time to germinate and bear fruit. Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Every promise from God has a due season.
If we look at it from God’s perspective, every season we walk through is beneficial and fruitful. God is always working for our good. He always has a good plan for our lives.
Spring time is a season of planting spiritual seed; making our request known to God. It’s a time of refreshing rains after a long, cold, dead winter. It’s a season of new beginnings in our life which may be experienced by new doors opening, new assignments, etc. You won’t see a harvest in a spring season, but you’ll sense the excitement that God is is working to bring forth a harvest in your life.
The summer season is a time for rest after a busy spring. We may not feel like we need times of rest. However, God, in His wisdom, knows when rest is required for His children. It’s also a time of watering the seeds planted in the spring through prayer and fellowship with God. If you’ve been praying for God to open doors to no avail, you might be in a summer season. He is calling you to rest in Him. We’ve all heard the saying, “the heat of summer.” Summer seasons can be marked by a time of intense heat experienced through trials of testing. The purpose of the heat is to burn out impurities in order to prepare us for the upcoming fall season. The summer season is a time of reaping in the blessings of the summer fruit.
Fall is a season of major change. Fall winds blow in cooler weather offering a respite from the heat of summer. The lush green landscape colors of summer are transformed to golds and oranges. Change can make us anxious. However, it’s important to remember that God is in the midst of us, and He goes before us. It is our Father who orders our footsteps. We have to trust Him when the winds of change blow into our lives, and we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory. It’s also a time of the early rains, which soften the ground for planting in the preparation of the winter harvest. In Israel, rains were a sign of blessing upon the land. The blessings of a fall season prepare us for the winter that is promised to come.
Winter! Cold, barren and dreary. In a winter season, it may appear that everything is dead, and harvest will never come but the roots are still growing far beneath the ground. It’s a time to trust in what you know and not in what you can see. In winter, we live off of the past harvest or what has been stored up. We focus on what we know to be true in God’s Word. Like the roots of the trees and dead bulbs beneath the ground, you may not “see” the fruit of your prayers being answered but keep praying, standing and believing.
If you don’t like the season you are in…this too shall pass! God will always take us from glory to glory. However, we must learn to worship and trust Him in our seasons.
Ask God to help you discern the seasons of your life so that you can partner with Him and accomplish great things in the Kingdom.
Blessings,

Cindy

Choose to Trust

Have you ever been reading a Scripture or listening to a song and you just know that God is speaking to you. But it’s not that He’s speaking to you, He’s warning you or preparing you for something that’s coming ahead. And, of course, that something is not something you are going to enjoy necessarily. Last Sunday during worship, it happened. Ugh!!! The worship team was singing a song, and suddenly I knew; God was preparing to me. The words to the bridge were, “And when I don’t understand, I will choose You.”  God said to me, “Listen to the words you are singing.”
We are often faced with situations in life that simply don’t make sense. Maybe you believe God has spoken to you to take a step out in faith yet, it doesn’t seem like the doors are opening. Or, perhaps you’ve been experiencing a trial for so long that there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.  Maybe you lost a loved one to a disease when you were standing strong in faith.
I’ve been praying for healing in my body for YEARS! Many, many years! It doesn’t make sense to me as to what is hindering that healing from manifesting itself. There are other things I’ve been praying for that haven’t come to pass, but I’ve heard the Lord say to me, “Trust!”
Sure enough, this week I was faced with the situation the Lord was preparing me for on Sunday through the words of the worship song. And I had to make a choice. It’s something I don’t understand. I don’t hear the Lord giving me instruction. But I’ve had to choose to trust Him.
It sounds easy, and to some people it might be. But, this is my life! My flesh wants to scream, throw a temper tantrum and complain. However, I know God in His grace was preparing me beforehand. He wants me to pass this test. I want to pass this test. So with all that is within me I choose to trust.
It’s how we handle our trials that are important to the Lord. Jesus tells us in John 16:33 that we are to be of good cheer when we encounter trials and tribulations because He has overcome the world. There is nothing that we will walk through that God has not already overcome. He’s gone before us. He’s our rear guard. He’s got this!
In my spirit, I know God is in control and will take care of my situation. But my flesh wants to rebel and whine. We all want our way, and we want it now! We often behave just like little children. However, we need to trust in His timing, His way, His purpose for the trial or delay…He knows the end from the beginning. So…when I don’t understand, I will trust Him. The One who holds the moon and stars in place, makes the earth turn day by day, and can take the hearts of kings and turn them however He wills…I will trust Him. Strength for the Journey Ministry