As I press forward through life moving linear the only direction life can be traveled I often find myself wishing I could have understood how to have applied the things I was aware of in life as I am able to do now at this stage in life. I believe we all start out believing the same or at least a very similar set of untruths “LIES” albeit unintentional most of the time one of the more prominent of all is the one often heard during our youth “You’re in control, You have plenty of time” looking back what a crock that is and if you’re telling our youth today, they have time – plenty of time – they have their whole life ahead of them – just STOP IT!
Much of life is spent waiting, and learning, and learning to wait. Although we are often taught to wait with hope; there is never a mention of what a bully fear can be. You see, I grew up like many others believing a series of lies — there is a particular lie I carried with me through all my hoods from childhood to adulthood. A lie that had me believe that I would have happiness when my dreams come true. So, I worked hard to obtain all that my heart longed for.
Just as I begin attaining my desires, this uneasy feeling would always settle in deep in the pit of my stomach. I feared I might lose it all. I found myself paralyzed by fear, and it soon began to rob me of my joy. I feared everything from the vulnerability of marriage, to the loneliness of being a lifelong single. Then as I became successful, I would fear the shame of failure. There wasn’t much I didn’t fear for every good side there was an inevitable downside. I realized I was beginning to fear my circumstances more than I feared God.
I found myself wrestling with the stanch reality that I was not in control and never would be. I had lost all sight of the reality that both trials and victories are just a part of the overall story God is writing through me. I didn’t treasure the truth that He is equally with me through the laughter and the tears, in every celebration and all sufferings.
Often life can seem very dreary and unfairly harsh. It not only seems that way, it is that way because we reside in a broken and fallen world. A place where we find ourselves waiting to meet that special person or to have that awesome career, or for the lab results to signal an unequivocal “all clear,” just as you wait for the thought, you know the one that often drops in disguised as a friendly concern the “What if. .?”
How can we calm our “concerns” otherwise known as our fears should we simply ignore the fear in” hope” that it will go away, or should we exercise more self-control, perhaps it comes down to facing the fear head on? The Psalmist in verse 4 of the 23rd Psalm says this “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” God spoke to Isaiah in Isaiah 41:10 saying “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” That’s it! God promises are where we are to stand his very presence is always near and real.
Bring it ALL to God and give it ALL to him. Peter speaks of casting all your care upon the Lord, for He cares for us – 1 Peter 5:7. Peter says God cares for us, meaning He shows a kind interest in us in all our needs and cares. The Lord loves to hear and help us as we bring our cares to Him. Indeed, He shows Himself ready to help us before anyone even calls upon Him! God cares for us; therefore, we must not be over-anxious, but trust in Him. Casting all your care, your anxiety, your distracting care on Him, for He cares for you, for He concerns Himself, with the things that interest you, whatever things concern a follower of God, whether they be spiritual or temporal, or whether in themselves great or small, God concerns Himself with them. He who knows that God cares for him need have no anxious cares about himself. The Psalmist says in Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain you. He will bear both you and your burden
What does that look like? It looks as satisfying and secure as God himself because real hope is God. Paul tells us in Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” When we hold on to the God of hope, what we have then is not a psychological uplift, but God himself as our ally for every doubt and danger.
How do you hold on to God? You begin by getting closer to Him. How do you get closer to God? The same way you get close to anyone: by spending time together. Intentionally and consistently coming to meet with him. Much has changed in the world since Biblical times this is true. But God hasn’t changed. The God of hope we see in the pages of the Bible is the God you’re meeting with or should be meeting with today.