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Today’s Truth

The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”

Lamentations 3:19-24

Friend to Friend

When we look around at today’s world, hope usually isn’t the first word that comes to mind. In many ways we live in an age of uncertainty. If we allow our thoughts to linger on things such as the national debt, the condition of the environment, the increase in violence toward even our most innocent, and the looming moral bankruptcy of our culture, we can get pretty discouraged. The situation only compounds when we add our personal issues to these corporate ones. Life can be rough. When marriages fail, bank accounts run low, friendships end, or the everyday demands of a fast-paced life get us down, we sometimes feel the ground shaking beneath our feet.

Living in such an unstable world, we tend to have a propensity to worry. Other choices of fear, doubt, and bitterness call us to select their posture when life gets overwhelming. Yet God offers us another choice. Through Him we can dare to hope—not in the government, our family, a job, or even the church. God calls us to surrender our wills to His and rest our hope in Him alone.

Sometimes I get moving through life at a breakneck pace and forget to be daring with hope. I command the calendar, devote time to work, drive the kids around, do some laundry, take care of other chores and errands, make plans for dinner, check in with friends, and then get up tomorrow and start all over again. I need a yellow light as I’m racing through life to wake me up and say, “Slow down and pay attention!”

I got one of these wake-up calls recently while driving. Instead of a caution light, I got a caution bump. I had just dropped my girls off at a school activity and was on my way home. Earlier I had dumped out my purse on the passenger seat, frantically looking for something I needed at a moment’s notice. Now I was stopped at a red light, and I leaned over to put things back in my purse. Suddenly I felt a huge jolt as my van bumped into the minivan in front of me. I slammed the brake down hard, backed up, and went to talk to the woman in front of me. Thankfully, there was no damage to either car, but as I finished the short drive home, I was a little shaken. How could my foot have let up on the brake without me even realizing it? I was so caught up in my task that I slowly let the car slide forward without even being aware of what I was doing.

I laughed with God as I thought about what He has been teaching me through the Book of Jeremiah: I need to pay attention to really important things (like keeping my foot on the brake) instead of letting a small distraction (like my purse contents) put me in danger of hurting myself and others. This is so true in my spiritual life. The minutia of day-to-day life as well as the trials that so frequently present themselves put me in danger of missing the hope in God’s plans for me.

What kind of wake-up calls have you received from God lately? It is so easy to coast into human effort rather than dare to hope like Jeremiah did. His circumstances were rough. He was isolated from his family, imprisoned, falsely accused, and most people didn’t listen to his messages from the Lord. We see that he poured out his heart to God, but also chose to be daring with hope as we read his prayers in the book of Jeremiah and Lamentations which were both authored by him.

Where is God calling you to be daring with your hope today? Life may be scary right now. It may be a peaceful season. Either way, we can dare to hope in our God because His love never ceases and He offers us new mercies every morning. How can you receive those mercies today?

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, I want to be daring with hope. Even when my circumstances are difficult and confusing, help me to lean into you. Wake me up from trusting in my human effort and help me to surrender completely to you. Thank you for steadfast love that never ceases and new mercies every morning!

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Where can you see God’s new mercies in your life today? Where is He calling you to dare to hope in His love and provision for you? Take a moment to write “Dare to Hope” in a place where you will see it throughout the day today – on your bathroom mirror (dry erase markers work great), a sticky note on your car steering wheel, or perhaps the screensaver on your phone.

More from the Girlfriends

Melissa Spoelstra is a women’s conference speaker, Bible teacher, and writer who is madly in love with Jesus and passionate about helping women of all ages know Christ more intimately through serious Bible study. She is the author of several women’s Bible studies including Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World which includes video teaching and daily study. She lives in Dublin, Ohio, with her pastor husband and four kids. Find her online at www.melissaspoelstra.com.

10 Responses to “Daring to Hope”

  1. Angela says:

    This is beautiful! While relevant to “Girlfriends” in your newsletter, the world needs more hope + more people praying for hope. Hope is a powerful thing through God. God Bless + may there be hope for all today.

  2. Kathy M says:

    Thank you for the reminder! I am in a season of change and a season of waiting. Sometimes I am not patient in my waiting. I then remind myself of this verse…“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭15:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬
    And then I go back to trusting God’s way and timing and I find his joy and peace in my waiting. God bless you.

  3. Diana says:

    I have three watch words for myself
    Hope, Help, and Healing
    when I start to hope for an answer, then I start to seek help for the answer, then I receive healing and find the answer.

    We are never without these three things as long as our eyes are on Jesus. he is our hope, our help and our healing.

  4. Jane Lowery says:

    nnI had an accident at work in October, 2016. I never dreamed what a life changing event that would turn out to be! I was in our break room and went to open one of the three commercial size refrigerators. It started to shake and before I could get out of the way, the entire refrigerator fell on yours truly! I’ve had two meniscus repairs and a total knee replacement, and a severe concussion as a result. Without going into a lot of legal issues, I also lost my job. I was literally flat on my back, knee(s) elevated and packed in ice. The resulting concussion left me with severe cognitive impairment, so reading was not an option. Netfex even got old. I began to doubt my faith. I could think of no good reason for this life altering event. As I lay there one day, I prayed that God would give me one believing friend. I’m in recovery and as much as I love my recovering friends, rarely is our “higher power” the same! So, I was feeling very lonely and in need of an encouraging, Jesus believing friend! Well, would you believe that in less than a week He sent not one, but five;??? A friend that lives a few doors down from me called and invited me for coffee with some other ladies in our neighborhood! I had been working full-time previously and had never even met my neighbors! Crutches in tow,, I went! In a few short minutes, I came to find out that all of these ladies shared my faith and loved Jesus! We met once a week, and after a few of our “coffees”, I opened up and shared my doubts, fears, anger etc. it wasn’t pretty! Their responses were each filled with hope, encouragement and pointed me to scriptures on these very things! In the meantime, my precious, faithful and supportive sister invited me to a morning Bible study at our church. Reluctantly I agreed. Wheni got there I reconnected with an old acquaintance, long story short, who has become a best friend, mentor and encourager! The Bible study met me right where I was in my struggles! Recovering from addiction, had left a large imprint of doubt about God’s forgiveness. The problem was me. I hadn’t forgiven myself. Thus began my journey of understanding God’s grace! That had been the missing puzzle piece! What a freeing experience! USince then, I’ve seen God work and answer prayers I would have never imagined! Our income took a huge hit, my health insurance is still with my old company but we have to pay Cobra, which is outrageously expensive. So what I thought the point and purpose looks and feels nothing like I envisioned. Instead , I truly believe that He was/is teaching me patience and to “Be still and know that I am God”! I’m waiting to hear if my disability claim has been approved, I had to apply for early retirement, my husband, who had lost his banking job in 2009, works two par-time jobs and we are somehow, making ends meet. We’ve learned to live on a lot less and to be content with “enough”. God has done such a work in my once doubting heart but Great is His Faithfulness “! Praise the Lord!

  5. Rebecca Jones says:

    I started thinking about Jeremiah being the weeping prophet, it’s perfectly okay to cry out to God, and in your secret place.

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