Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hope that is not...

"For in this hope we were saved. Hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." (Romans 8:24-25)

It's not everyday that you encounter God so clearly in your experience. When you receive a certain word from Him the very moment you asked for it you cannot help but stop and think with your heart. It is 11:25PM already of 08-17-09. My mind had been in distress lately and as I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth, I uttered a little prayer in my heart. "Lord, please speak to me. Please let me hear your word." 

My roommate was already asleep as I stepped out of the bathroom. I grabbed my earphones from the dresser and walked silently out of the bedroom to stay on the couch again tonight. I was gonna turn off my macbook right then until I saw my roommate's devotional book on the couch. It had caught my attention because I knew she placed it there on purpose. God made her do it for me. God reminded me that He hears sincere prayers of the heart and that He answers. I looked at the Devotional book cracked open to a certain page with a pen. My heart slowed down as I opened the page and read on the topic there. "Pessimism is intellectual poison. Negativity can harm your heart and impair your life if you let it." Every single word I read on the page jumped out at me to stab my heart. "Train yourself to HOPE IN HIM and to look forward to all the wonderful ways His promises will be fulfilled in your life. Persistent pessimism can rob you of the energy you need to accomplish the most important tasks on your to-do list. Wait patiently for the blessings God has promised to those who hope in Him." (Hugs Daily Inspirations: Words of Promise, August 12) I am so guilty of pessimism these past few days and have found myself physically manifesting this intellectual poison. My Lord rebuked my proud heart as I read through the page of the devotional. I have been very, very guilty.

The past week was a tumultuous one for me. I've been spiraling into depression and had to decide to make an emergency bail out by leaving Tyler, TX and going over to an uncle of mine in Houston before it will be too late. I honestly focused too much on negativity and I allowed its poison to seep into every vein in my body. I felt drained, even though I tried to fight it by focusing on posting blogs on the greatness of God to bring victory in our lives. I was carrying with me all this time this poison of despondency and glumness which eventually impaired my life for a moment. I was so ashamed of myself before God because I know I am so guilty of the sin of impatience. I was bitter for not seeing any results of the prayers I've said. I was angry for still having the same scene played over and over and over again in my life. I was discouraged because I'm still complaining of the same things and a change of perspective on either myself or the other person was just impossible to come to pass. 

I have been praying for healing of a personal aspect in my life and had convinced myself that I've surrendered it all to God already. I have been telling myself that God will do the rest. I was actually trying to put my hope in God but turned out to have placed it on my own self-righteousness. Job, in the bible,  taught us to put our hope in God. He, of all the people, has really all the right to say and know what it is to really hope in God. Job, as we know, has amazingly gone through every single afflictive and grievous situation that could ever befall a man on this earth! And yet he still had the strength to say "Put your hope in God."

I believe my pessimism stemmed from the fact that I really didn't understand the real, honest-to-goodness meaning of HOPE, much more HOPING IN GOD. I guess it's been one of those words we all tend to use, overuse and abuse in this lifetime that we no longer come to appreciate it's real weight as we just allow it to float on the shallow waters of our minds. HOPE as defined alone and without a subject that it points to is merely to feel that something we desire MAY happen. Apart from putting our Hope into something, it is merely an anticipation of what is yet to come. However, as we move to define Hope with an object in a sentence, we are actually going to see an interesting difference between the two definitions. Hope that is focused on an object is actually to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence. Let me put it this way... When we say "I hope for a nice winter," we are only looking forward to what MAY happen in that future time. But when we say "I hope my artwork is going to make 1st prize," we look forward to with desire and A REASONABLE CONFIDENCE that this particular scenario will take place. We are allowed a reasonable, acceptable, "makes-sense-to-me" confidence or assurance on the thing we hope for! An assurance is an affirmation or the declaration of the TRUTH of something! Now let's put HOPE and GOD together and what do we get? It is the assurance, the confidence, that declares all of God's Truths! Who HE is and what HE is doing in our lives will become so clear to us and as assurance will be defined, it gives a relief of our doubts. 

This is what God has given me tonight... an assurance, as I put all my Hope in Him, that relieved all of my fears and all of my doubts. I am confident that even if I DO NOT SEE what I was asking Him for, and I DO NOT SEE what will happen tomorrow or the next day, He is faithful to keep His promises to me. I know this and have confidence in this because GOD IS FAITHFUL - it's one truth about Him I read over and over in the bible! And He will let all things fall into it's right place WHEN He wills it... His time not mine... His conditions not mine... I hope (in GOD) for what I do not see... and I will be at peace and with this new found hope, I will be able to practice Patience, knowing that God will make ALL things work for good for those who are called according to HIS purpose.

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