When Your Hope is Weak, But God
Why do we put our hope in the Lord? I propose it has to do with two important words. The phrase ‘but God’ occurs in Scripture 41 times in the NASB. It is a power-packed representing of a pivotal point, God’s interjecting Himself into time, though He exists outside of time. Those words are a reminder that our hope is in the One who orders and ordains not only our steps but all of creation.
In the life of Noah, “but God”. In the life of Sarah, Abimelech, Abraham, Moses, and Joseph, “but God” made all the difference.
Judges 15.19 “But God split the hollow….”
I Samuel 23.14 “…but God did not deliver him into his hand.”
Psalm 49.15 “But God will redeem my soul….”
Psalm 73.26 “But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
Acts 2.24 “But God raised Him up again….”
Romans 5.8 “But God demonstrates His own love towards us that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
I Corinthians 1.27 “…but God has chosen the foolish things of this world….”
I Corinthians 7.15 “…but God has called us to peace.”
Philippians 2.27 “…but God had mercy on him…”
The power of God, His radical, personal, challenging, confronting presence in the lives of men and women, in our lives. He is not a passive God, but an active, living God, a God who pursues us, stirs our hearts and demands our attention. What a beautiful thing it is to place our hope in the only One who comes after us as the gentle Shepherd looks for his lost lamb.
Often we forget the ‘but God’ moments in our own lives, the times when but by His own hand He sustained, provided, protected, enabled, encouraged, clarified and otherwise made our path straight. Sadly we chalk our circumstances up to ‘living right’, ‘luck’, ‘being at the right place at the right time’, or some other less worthy explanation. Let’s make sure we’re putting our hope and faith in the right place, friends.
Does your hope need a booster today? Take a moment to reflect on the times when God Himself has intervened. Interrupted. Inspired. Interjected. Pray and ask God to show you how He has guided your path, how He has made the rough places smooth, how He has made a way in the wilderness.
Here is a starting point as you begin to contemplate His guiding hand:
I thought I needed
I thought I wanted
I thought it was time for
I thought I was ready for
I thought my kids
You are holy. All Your ways are perfect: Your timing, Your will, Your plan, Your purposes. You alone sit on the throne, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” You are the Creator God, the Sovereign of the universe, He who spoke light into existence, Who placed the stars and limited the oceans. At Your word the whale lept from the sea, the eagle took flight and the lion roared.
Forgive me Lord when my hope in you is weak and I race ahead of You, when I doubt You, when I wrestle You. Forgive me Lord when I want my way more than Yours, when I don’t consider Your plan, when I leave You out. Forgive me Lord when my anger flares, when my pride blinds me and my selfishness becomes my shade. Forgive my weak hope, my unbelief, my lack of trust, my ‘little faith’ Lord!
I want to live like You’re on the throne. I want to walk in the light of Your presence. I want to trust You no matter what — no matter how dark, no matter how stormy, no matter how impossible. In all of these, You are God, The one and only true God, my God. I choose to live in submission to Your timing, Your will and Your plan. I choose to worship You when life and circumstances don’t make sense.
Father, I pray that You will glorify Yourself in my life, through me. I pray that others will see evidence of Your love in me. I pray that You will increase and I will decrease, that Your name will be high and lifted up, not because of anything I do, but because of all You do. I pray that my boasting will be in my weakness because You are my strength.