Charles Stanley (June-12-2021) Daily Devotional: Secure Hope
Psalm 42 - 1 As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, While they say to me all day long, Where is your God?" 4 These things I remember and I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go along with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God, With the voice of joy and thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival. 5 Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence. 6 O my God, my soul is in despair within me; Therefore I remember You from the land of the Jordan And the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. 7 Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me. 8 The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime; And His song will be with me in the night, A prayer to the God of my life. 9 I will say to God my rock, Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?" 10 As a shattering of my bones, my adversaries revile me, While they say to me all day long, Where is your God?" 11 Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.
Hope is essential for life in a fallen world. Unless we believe something better awaits us in the future, we might sink into utter despair. But optimistic anticipation can also bring disappointment when we look forward to something that doesn’t materialize. So how do we determine where to place our hope—and what our response should be if it isn’t fulfilled?
Hope is secure when it’s aligned with the Lord’s desires, which are revealed in Scripture. However, many of our expectations are based on wishes or feelings. We long for things like job promotions, good health, strong relationships, or quick solutions to our problems, but we have no absolute promise from the Lord that these are part of His will for us.
Disappointment with God can occur whenever our expectations do not coincide with His plan. Even when hope is based on a scriptural promise, the Lord may not fulfill it in the way or the timeframe that we expect.
Contentment lies in being able to distinguish subjective hopes, which originate with us, from our ultimate hope in the Lord, who is sovereign and good. Then, even when an earthly expectation isn’t realized as we wished, we can have joy, remembering that our eternal hope in God is sure.