Walking by Faith Alone

Archive for January 7th, 2012

And yet there is HOPE…

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Lamentations 3:19 – 24, “I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope; Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.”

The verse came to mind this morning as I meditated on the past, where I have been, the hand at times life has dealt to me, and the powerful force that brought me through it all.

I spoke with a friend yesterday who has walked a similar path in life as I have. I recalled several years ago standing against a wall in a crowd and seeing her across the room. Although we are different in appearance, I felt as if I looked in a mirror, for her countenance was similar to my own. As we spoke by phone, the realization that both of us had not only survived the pain and misery of the past but thrived overwhelmed us with joy. We reflected on God’s hand and how His faithfulness to us in the storms resulted in our ability to have a second chance at life.

“I remember my affliction and my wandering…”

During the passover, God instructed Moses to rub bitter herbs on the meat to remind the Israelites of the years of horror they spent as Egyptian slaves and who delivered them from the despair. Jeremiah in this verse of Lamentations is expressing the same thought but concludes in the simple words “yet” there is hope.

What should we do when life deals a harmful blow and what we know is disrupted and torn from our hands?

1. Praise God: Sometimes it is the last thought to pass our minds when we hear the devastating news that we’ve lost our job; or the cancer has spread; our marriage is over; our child is in trouble…but have you ever been an onlooker to a fire? The extreme heat and the blaze is mind-boggling. Fear resonates through your body until you hear the sirens that help is on the way. Firefighters dressed in flame resistant coats and boots with helmets appear, hose in hand, and suddenly you feel everything will be alright. 911 has been called and they are here! God is our firefighter when Satan hurls a blow that appears to consume us. God is our peace and strength. Just as we wouldn’t wave off the fire engine speeding to the rescue of the blazing fire, God needs to be the first to whom we call for help. Shout at the top of your lungs, “I know you are here God with me and I praise you!”

2. Remember the times God rescued you before and shout them out!  Proverbs 21:13, “The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD.” When events happen in our lives that cripple us and cause us pain, God isn’t surprised. He isn’t thrown off-balance. Remember the times of your past when He has rescued you. Remember how He orchestrated events to make things work-out for you. In the end, the victory is His, not yours. No matter what situation you are in, prepare for the battle and understand that God’s will is the ultimate result. His timing is perfect. Remember and trust God to do what He has always done and help you out of the situation in which you are enduring.

3. Turn it over to Him willingly. This is the toughest part because we think we know what the best outcome might be. We have a plan in mind and if God will just do what we say… if God will just hear our plan… if God will just… Listen, God is so far ahead of your plans and ideas. I remember a time when I was in Russia. We were dealing with an issue that could potentially thwart all that we wanted to accomplish. I spoke up, believing that possibly my idea might help to which our attorney and expert on the situation at hand scolded me, “You are teaching me!” She was right. What on earth did I possibly know, an American in a Russian world. I couldn’t even speak the language beyond please, thank you, exit, enter, eat, and go. There is no need to ‘teach’ God. He is well aware of what needs to be done.

4. Ask what you can do to help. Women are funny about their kitchens. The worst thing you can do at your mother in-laws is to go into her kitchen and start telling her how you load the dishwasher or stir-fry onions. How would you like your dishwasher loaded? Do you hand wash your pots? What temperature do you prefer when stir-frying veggies? Ask God what you can do to help Him get you out of the mess. Read your Bible to give Him a passageway to communicate with you. Pray diligently and sit quietly to give Him time to speak to you.

5. Be willing to do what He asks. It is one thing to ask how He would like it done, it is another to actually implement the action. Do what you feel God is asking you to do even if it makes no sense to you at all.

And yet there is HOPE. No matter what you are facing in life, there is hope in God. Trust Him – not man.

His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness…”

Written by Nora Hatchett Almazan

January 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm