By: Sarah Phelan-Blamires
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Psalm 68:3,5-6,19 (NLT)
3But let the godly rejoice.
Let them be glad in God’s presence.
Let them be filled with joy...
5Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—
this is God, whose dwelling is holy.
6God places the lonely in families;
he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.
But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land...
19Praise the Lord; praise God our savior!
For each day he carries us in his arms.
We have a hope that is anchored in God alone and nothing else - not finances, relationships, career trajectories, whatever. No matter how chaotic the world becomes or how difficult our circumstances, we will always have a hope that stretches down deep into our souls. It's something to hold fast to in a world that feels unsteady. When everything around you is crumbling, you will be okay. You'll stand steady. This world can’t break you, since your hope rests in Jesus. You will never be hopeless. Breathe that in. How safe does that make you feel? How much less worried? And that is why we rejoice in his name - because in him we have hope and hope is everything.
“There’s no sadder place to be in this world than a place where there’s no hope.”
― Anthony Ray Hinton, The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life on Death Row
God creates hope for us in many ways. In the verse above, God becomes father to the fatherless, defender of widows, places the lonely in families, sets prisoners free. Here God’s influence shifts from the spiritual to the tangible. Both loneliness and depression are serious, widespread issues in our day and age as are absentee parents and mass incarceration. This passage is just so immediately applicable to our present day experience and the experiences of those around us. I love how God gives his people hope in their hearts but also hope in their lived lives.
Question to Consider
What is one practical step you can take to create a spark of hope in someone’s life? (Remember - small, practical gestures can have a big impact.)
Dear Jesus, teach me to find the fullness of joy and hopefulness in your presence; not to hang my hopes on the precarious things of this world. Bring my attention to opportunities to give hope and help to those around me in practical ways. Thank you for carrying me in your arms today. Amen.
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