My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word. (NIV)
It is easy to praise God in the good times, to be confident in our hope in Him. Where is your focus when year-end responsibilities are piling up and money is tight and schedules are packed and you are not sure what to buy for relatives or when you will even have time to go shopping? Do the words of Scripture and the praises of song come to your lips when relationships are going from bad to worse and illness threatens and surprise repair costs threaten a strapped budget?
Putting hope in God is the act of a warrior. When we hear others singing praise, we may even want to walk away. It may feel as if it would take a crow bar to open our lips, which have been shut with pain and grief. Do it anyhow. Sing through gritted teeth if necessary. Read that passage of Scripture even if you think you are getting nothing out of it and other thoughts are crowding your mind.
David wrote many of the psalms while under incredible fear and stress. The practices of the faith…prayer, study, praise…these are things that keep us strong. Never give up the work of putting your hope in God. Consider it an act of rebellion against the enemy who wants nothing more than to separate us from God, Who loves us
Father, it is difficult sometimes to go to You. I feel blocked, separated, overwhelmed. Restore to me the joy of my salvation. Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within. By a great act of will, I choose to put my hope in You. In the name of Jesus, my Lord, amen.
Copyright © 2012 by Steven R.