Psalm 31:1, 24 (AMP): In You, O Lord, do I put my trust and seek refuge; let me never be put to shame or [have my hope in You] disappointed; deliver me in Your righteousness! Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for and hope for and expect the Lord!
What are your expectations of the Lord today?
For the person suffering this can be a tricky question.
I found myself yesterday rediscovering hope. Which, of course, is great! It felt like one of lead blankets holding down my body peeled off.
The only problem though - my hope was based on change in circumstance. And that’s not true hope. Hebrews 11 gives a nice definition of faith and also highlights hope, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hope and faith can trust even when the results remain unseen.
Regardless of where my hope came from I am thankful! The hope steered my study this morning to Psalm 31. The verses above caught my attention, especially in the Amplified version. During a depression battle I find myself expecting the next day to be worse, expecting things to never change. With depression one feels hopeless, worthless and an overall bleakness. Instead of fighting the depression it’s easier to give in and believe that life is worth nothing. But verse 24 of Psalm 31 encourages the heart to hope. Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for and hope for and expect the Lord! I heard, “Don’t give up Shane. Don’t give in. It’s ok to hope. I have this handled. Keep expecting good things from me. I don’t disappoint.”
However, I commonly hear the negative tapes playing over and over in my head, discouraging me, saying “aim low, there’s no disappointment there.” But walking in faith requires a positive voice. A new filter for the negative tone. A Godly voice whispering (not demanding), encouraging, “take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33)
I have a spiral notebook of index cards filled with scripture I want to memorize. It sits in my tote bag pocket. I take it out when I find another scripture to work on. Today I’ll add another… Psalm 31. But instead of putting it back in its snug pocket I’m going to leave it out, where I can see it and learn it and live it!
Whatever you may be struggling with today, God’s Word can overcome. We can expect hope. We can triumph over pain. Feeding the soul is so important. How can we best keep our God-filter engaged? What are you doing today to stay encouraged?