Hold on… pain ends! HOPE!
As long as we are anchored to Christ, we have hope. Hardships and trials may rock our boat but never our foundation… if Jesus is the bedrock.
The presence of hope in the invincible sovereignty of God drives out fear. ~ John Piper
If our hope in Christ has weakened, you can be certain the enemy has been at work. Doubt and fear will fill our hearts if hope wavers. If you question the faithfulness and sovereign power of God you have given the devil a foothold.
“For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’” Isaiah 41:13 (NKJV)
King David endured much adversity in his life and gave in to hopelessness and depression. As you read the Psalms, you realize that he experienced many of the same symptoms of present-day depression: faintness of heart, endless days, sleepless nights, tears, obsessive fear and numbness to name a few. Our hope in Christ is strong if we remain steady in our faith and trust in God’s ability to help us through problems, tests, and temptations. God does test His children! Consider Abraham and the trust he had in God. His hope rested on the promises of God
“But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in You.” Psalm 39:7 (NIV)
By being sensitive to the Holy Spirit and His leading, we can recognize negative feelings. We are not responsible for the emotions that arise within us but we ARE responsible for how we act upon our feelings. We are to take every thought captive (put off) and meditate upon good, noble, and praiseworthy things (put on). If we put off negative thinking and hopelessness without putting on an alternative, we will slip back into feelings of despondency.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
The Book of Hebrews calls hope an anchor of the soul. Anchors are attached to a ship or boat by a cable and cast overboard to hold it in a particular place. If we consider a ship our life journey, then the anchor is our hope in God. This hope is attached to a cable of faith, which holds us steady in incredibly rough waters.
“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil.” Hebrews 6:19 (NKJV)
To anchor our soul is to rest in God’s strength. An anchor digs into the very bottom of the sea. The waters at this depth are calm. The storm above has no power over the peacefully resting anchor. It is at ease for it only needs to remain still and fulfill its purpose. Remain steadfast.
Christians will experience this same peace if their hope in Christ remains steadfast. The anchor cannot see the whirlwind of the storm or the tossing of the ship. If we keep our eyes focused on God, instead of on the storm we are experiencing, we will ride out our adversity with the peace that transcends all understanding.