I’ve spent the last few months reading through the book of Jeremiah. The thing that struck me was how many times God gave His people the choice of whether or not to forsake their idols and worship Him. As I read, I realized how many times we have choices to make. In our relationships with family, friends, co-workers, and especially with God. This is the last of a 5-part series on choices (Read other posts here). I look forward to hearing your thoughts on what helps you make wise choices.
This writing journey leads us on rough paths. Upon rock-strewn trails that trip us up and flatten us to the ground. Those tree roots of rejection stick out above the ground and cause us to stumble in our belief that we are truly called to write.
How many times in our lives have we struggled with hope?
When we walked in the valley of infertility, my faith faltered as I grappled to understand where God was amid the emotions and disappointments. I had hopes that God would give us a baby. He could give us a child. He was more than able to satisfy this Him-given desire.
And yet, He chose not to gift me with a pregnancy.
I began my writing journey over seven years ago. I may have been a little naive on the amount of things I had to learn to write effectively. I was certain I could whip out a novel in a year, become represented by an agent, and launch my writing career.
Um . . . yeah. I really was that naive.
Writing friends acquainted me with how hard this journey is. But, I knew I could do it. I put my hope in God to help me get published.
Many contest wins and seven years later, I still wrestle with why God has kept me at this place on the path.
Discouragement sets in when we aim for something we think God has promised us and we don’t receive it. We can’t move toward it . . . for whatever reason.
These seasons forced me to consider where I place my hope. I know God can do these things.
Nothing . . . .No-Thing is too hard for Him.
Yet, sometimes, when we pursue and yearn for good things, He withholds them.
The answer to that one word question probably varies with each person who asks it. But this I know . . .
Discouragement is the enemy of hope. It sucks us dry and keeps our focus on us.
When I place my hope in God that He will do something, I will probably end up disappointed. It’s not that God can’t do those things. Not at all.
It’s a matter of me placing expectations on my Father to carry out my will in my timing.
The question becomes: Am I placing my hope in what God can do or in who He is? It’s hard to draw the line between these two realities.
When I place my hope in what God can do, I miss the reality of who He is.
The fact that He is sovereign.
That He has good plans for me that are absolutely perfect for this journey I’m on.
My eyes turn to me, to the circumstances around me. To the discouragements that come as a part of life.
When I choose to focus my eyes—my heart—on Jesus, I can find peace. Because it’s only as I walk out each day with my heart looking to Him—trusting His plans—that I can weather life’s ups and downs.
God knows me better than I know myself. He knows the purposes for which He created me. And God knows my heart’s desires. He gave them to me.
Placing my hope in who God is requires me to trust Him.
In some ways, this feels like the harder choice because it means relinquishing my plans.
In reality, choosing to hope in God alone is what gives peace in the trials. This choice is what helps us to rest in life’s uncertainties.
Because we trust Him more than ourselves, we can be certain God’s best will be accomplished in our lives. That He will walk with us through life’s hard.
Placing our hope in God alone is the best way to navigate the times when we don’t understand.
God did eventually give us two boys, and His way of doing this was so much better than anything I could have concocted.
As for writing and publishing that first novel? I haven’t sensed Him telling me to quit writing. I continue to keep my hope in Him, even when discouragement tries to set in. I know His timing is always perfect. And I hope in Him alone.
What about you? How do you balance the ideas of hoping that God will do something and hoping in God Himself? What is your favorite Bible verse about hope?