A few years back when I was going through a very difficult season, I tried to put my finger on what the problem was. I knew that I had faith. I knew that I trusted the Lord. I knew that He was faithful to fulfill His promises but still I just had this lethargic, depressed feeling inside.
I couldn’t figure out why I felt that way if I had faith. Until one day I heard a sermon preached on hope and I thought “that’s it!!”
We tend to roll faith, hope and trust into one but the truth is they are all different. You can have faith and not have trust. You can trust and not have hope. You can have faith and not have hope. Did you know that? Yep!
I couldn’t figure it out because I never understood how hope works.
When I asked the Lord what He wanted me to share with you all, He told me HOPE because some of you need this right now. And, as someone who has walked through hopelessness at one point without properly identifying it, I think I may be able to help you.
I’m going to share a picture with you that God showed me years ago of how it works. There are 3 points A, B C. Point A is when you just received a promise from God. Because He is God you believe Him when He tells you He is going to do something. This is faith. You walk in the direction He tells you to see the Manifestation of that Promise, which is Point C. In order for you to get from Point A to Point C, you need to cross a bridge called Hope, this is Point B. You have to continue in Hope in order to see the manifestation.
The enemy has only one plan, delays, distractions, throwing things at you to get you off that bridge of hope. He wants to destroy the bridge because if he can do that you never see the manifestation. Hope is your journey. So you sit in the backseat like a child saying “are we there yet?” Except you never seem to get to the destination. You know what happens to kids when they’ve been driving too long without a break? Yes, the same things starts happening to you in your spirit.
The devil makes you believe you are heading in the wrong direction, makes you question whether or not you heard God correctly, put every and all delay in place so that you actually start to lose hope. Slowly but surely due to the delays, you start to question yourself. Did God really say? Eventually your bridge of hope, especially if it’s a rope bridge starts to rot and fall apart. The wooden planks under your feet get termite infested (your naysaying friends) and you lose hope that you’ll ever see that promise fulfilled.
This is how your hope gets attacked. If you have no hope, you’ll never see the fulfillment of God’s promise because you give up. Think about it, the only time a person contemplates suicide is when they’ve lost all hope. They don’t ever believe they’ll get to the promise – saved or unsaved. What’s worse is that they don’t even think they can go back across the bridge. This is how crucial it is to have hope. Yet, we seem to get hundreds of sermons on faith but very few on HOPE. I’ve been saved for 19 years and I’ve only ever heard ONE message on hope. And the one message delivered me from a problem I didn’t realize I had!
Sometimes you can turn back because you start telling yourself that if you turn back now you won’t look completely stupid when it doesn’t manifest and all your friends won’t be laughing at you. We begin to justify why we can no longer have hope.
It’s a plot from the pit of hell.
The main way the enemy destroys your hope is with delays. Remember now, he CANNOT stop what God has ordained for you so all he can do is try to delay it. Making you think the manifestation is just a mirage that will never happen. Little tricks and gimmicks. So if you end up waiting longer that you thought you start getting nervous and feeling depressed. Then you give up. The enemy can’t stop it so he will make you abort it yourself. He gets you to forfeit. He gets you to abdicate.
Now that this has been explained to you, this is where you begin to gird up the loins or your mind and your emotions and you make sure the enemy does not control you and steal your hope.
Look at these scriptures with fresh eyes…
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.”
“When hope’s dream seems to drag on and on,
the delay can be depressing.
But when at last your dream comes true,
life’s sweetness will satisfy your soul.”
Yes, you generally have a hope problem when there is a delay. And then you feel depressed, sometimes not even realizing that it’s your hope that is under attack. You may have even prayed against depression, not realizing you were not actually hitting the target in prayer. You’re praying for the symptom and not the problem.
Can you pray for me? I’m depressed. Are you sure it’s not a hope deferred problem? Huh?
Yes, it manifests like depression and most people don’t know that.
Light bulb moment
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
This scripture is actually a layout of picture above showing you point A, B & C
plans to prosper you and not to harm you – Point A
plans to give you hope – Point B
and a future. – Point C
Without hope you have no future. That’s why the enemy is going after it!
It takes courage to have hope…
Psalm 31:24 “So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!”
I believe the biggest thing in giving up is that we fear that we are going to be ashamed that we hoped in something that wasn’t true. But God tells us our hope will not end in shame…
Romans 5:5 “And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”
I can tell you as someone standing on the other side seeing the manifestation of the Promises of God in my life, the minute I identified that my problem was actually hope and I prayed about it, I was strengthened in that area and able to go on. It took only a few short months after that before I saw the fulfillment.
If you read Psalm 27 you see that David was surrounded on all sides by the enemy but he says in verse 13 that he would’ve lost heart (given up hope) if he didn’t believe he would’ve seen the goodness of the Lord while he was alive.
Yes, many of the great people of faith also had moments when they struggled with hope.
The scary part is when people give up hope that is when they turn to lawlessness, sin, backsliding, suicide because they think “what’s the point might as well do what I want to do“. This isn’t the way to go because God surely will not fulfill His promise if you step off the path and go do your own thing. If you fell into this, just repent and get back on that bridge!!!
Here’s a prayer to be strengthened in Hope
Abba Father, thank you for Your promises. Thank you for faith to believe in Your promises. Thank you that You are not a man that You should lie nor the son of a man that You need to repent. Your word is true. The hope I have in You and Your promises will not be put to shame. Lord, I am asking You to help me rebuild my bridge of hope. I don’t want hope made out of straw, tied together by ropes and wood. NO! I don’t want a weak hope but I want hope that is built with platinum. That can stand the test of time. Strengthened by my seasons of afflictions. Shored up by the tests and adversities that I have walked through. A bridge of hope that can never be shaken but gets stronger and stronger with each trial. Tested by the fire and coming forth, pure! Built high above the enemy and his schemes. Built high enough so I can see his little tricks and gimmicks. Strengthen me God to continue this journey. I will wait patiently upon You. I will be courageous knowing that I will see the fulfillment of the promises You have made to me. Thank you from this day forward, I am no longer in charge of keeping that bridge of Hope in place. Instead the Hope is in You. The bridge is in You. You are not only the Author of my faith but the Finisher, the Perfecter and the Keeper of the fulfillment of promises. I can fully rest and trust in You that my hope will never be destroyed because it is build in You. You are never giving up on me and You will uphold me with your righteous right hand. Thank you for making my steps sure and secure. Strengthen me for the rest of this journey and teach me how to rest in You. I know the wait is a direct correlation to the size of my promise and I thank you for it now. Thank you for my renewed hope, in Jesus name, Amen.
“Here’s what I’ve learned through it all:
Don’t give up; don’t be impatient;
be entwined as one with the Lord.
Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope.
Yes, keep on waiting—for He will never disappoint you!”
Now for a change in perspective…
Picture in your mind your bridge of hope is actually built in the Lord. The bridge runs through Christ from the Promise to the Manifestation! There’s no way the enemy can attack it if God is the keeper of it. Put Your hope in God. If He started it He most certainly will finish it. He is the bridge. Some of you may need to take some time to meditate on this so that your perspective can completely change. Then you will find that things will begin to change and your joy will be restored.
Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise him again—
my Savior and my God!