We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God…And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts. (Romans 5:2, 5, NIV)
I have tasted it – that pain, that sense of loss when hopes fail. I have known disappointment.
But as false foundations give way, we are forced to dig deeper, to reassess, to refocus and refine our hope by remembering what is Rock and what is not, what will hold firm and what time will wash away.
God’s people in Old Testament times learned about such disappointment. They trusted many things: their promised homeland; their financial and military resources; the Temple, their symbol of status in God’s sight. They hoped in His blessings rather than in Him. But as all these were burned away in the fires of judgment, the hopes of the faithful were purified and refocused. Their eyes were lifted higher and higher until finally fixed on One Man–the Chosen One, the Servant of God, the Messiah–who would fulfill all God’s plans for His people and the hopes of all the ages.
I have shared their disappointment, and their sin. In times of prosperity I have gradually grown to look in other directions for security, meaning, and hope. Resting in success, a comfortable lifestyle, and familiar relationships, I have clung to God’s blessings rather than to Him. Taking gifts He intended as means to glorify Him, I have made them ends, glorifying myself. They have become convenient substitutes for depending on Him day by day.
But when one such substitute crumbles, or even wavers, I sense my vulnerability. I feel my foolishness and turn again to my Father–He who so patiently and fervently pursues my deepest affections and my trust.
Father, forgive me. Purify and refocus my hopes–not just the big ones, but the small ones that drive my daily energies. Remove the distractions and substitutes from my eyes, from my heart, until my hopes are fixed on You–You, my Everlasting God, my Patient Forgiver, my Creator, my Companion, my Sovereign Lord.
Those who hope in me will not be disappointed. (Isaiah 49:23, NIV)
Father, my Father,
save me from lukewarm self-satisfaction.
All we desire –
true health –
comes from You alone.
Keep me constantly coming to You.