I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. -Psalm 119:11
By Brittney Smith (WITHIN Devotional Contributor)
Sisters, it took a lot for me to write to you today about hope. Over the years, that precious fire in me slowly turned to embers. There were some significant events which contributed to this, but there have been many more little foxes to spoil the vine than anything. Nevertheless, I declare my hope is not dead. Buried alive maybe, but not dead. In fact, I’m more intentional about unearthing my God given right, privilege, and responsibility to hope.
1 Peter 1:3 says “God…has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…” The International Standard Version calls it “an immortal hope”. Meaning it’s enduring and durable. Hope from God cannot be destroyed and doesn’t quit. He’s conquered humanity’s greatest enemy (death) and then gave us this hope to live our days in.
However, He didn’t promise we wouldn’t face any other enemies or hardships. Like most letters in the New Testament, 1 Peter was written to persecuted Christians. Verse six reveals the circumstances of these believers, “…though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials”. Various trails, that is more than one thing. Just like little foxes spoiling the vine (and big ones)!
But alas, hope is not a stranger to trials, darkness, discouragement, torment or even disappointments. Hope does not require the absence of any of these things in order to be. Instead, hope is exactly what makes us resilient in these afflictions and able to stand under the weight of it all. So sister, instead of losing hope or burying it alive in this trial because it hurts too much to hope. I encourage you to lean into your hope even when it hurts, even when you’ve been disappointed already, even when fear and doubt grip your heart.
1 Peter 1:13 “Therefore gird up the loins of your minds, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ”. Hope wants you to see the bigger picture instead of looking at our momentary troubles. Sort of like a patient told me at my job last week. She said, “I’m not going to tell you to have a good day. I’ll say have a good year. You may not have a good day today. You may not have a good day tomorrow. But somewhere before the end of the year you’re going to have some good days.”
You and I do have some good days ahead of us. Hope says, “Your future is still good beyond what you’re going through now”. More than having good days here on earth, the Word promises us that we have a hope and a future established with God in eternity because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. May our hope burn brighter than it has in the upcoming weeks. May it continue to grow ever brighter until the day of Jesus Christ.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The weekly devotionals seek to encourage you to dig deeper into Scripture as you take the time to daily read, meditate, and internalize the verses in the devotional, along with the passages provided below to give greater context. Take the time to read them throughout the week (repetition is important) and ask the Holy Spirit to help you grasp what God is showing you about Himself, about you, and how to live in light of these truths.
Passages to read/memorize/meditate:
1 Peter 1
Hebrews 10 :23
Questions to Reflect on: