A Secret Source of Strength

Psalm 31: 19 – 24

Jesus loves the hopeless. He loved Zacchaeus who was hopelessly lonely. He loved Mary Magdalene although demon possessed. He loved Mary and Martha whose brother Lazarus died.

A sense of futile hopelessness is so foreign to the Lord that the word “hopeless” does not occur in the Bible.

Knowing human nature, our Lord realizes it exists and proposes an antidote. The Psalmist describes himself as a person for whom persons have set a snare and caught him in their net. Have you ever felt trapped, hopeless? Framed in such a feeling three release principles are noted.

Courage is noted in Psalms 31: 24a. This brings to mind what has been called Jesus’ favorite text: “Be of good cheer.” He said, “In this world you shall have tribulation but be of good cheer.”

Fear of conditions might cause some to try to retreat into the past or flee into the future, but reverence for God brings us to confront the current with courage. Almost anyone can show physical courage. It refuses to abandon convictions. Don’t be a moral turn-coat. The opposite of courage is not only cowardice, but conformity..

He will “strengthen your heart.” Heart is the Hebrew word for mind, purpose, intention, or insight.

If you have been mentally wandering these last few minutes come on back and fix your mind on what is about to be said. It is a revolutionary concept that can change your life. When our Lord says He will strengthen our heart He is saying  He will help your brain, immune system, and hormones work together to your fullest advantage.  All of this happens when the Lord is allowed to strengthen your heart by you thinking with the mind of Christ. That is, having His thought on each issue. Such positive thoughts impact all of your life.

Little wonder the Scripture says, “Man looks upon the outward appearance but God looks upon the heart.”

Your heart is further reference to the center of your intellectual, moral, emotional, and spiritual life. Is it right with God?

The third element is hope, which is the happy anticipation of good, favorable and confident expectation. Earnestly anticipating and expecting through experiencing delay and disappointment.

Little wonder God calls hope “the anchor of the soul.” (Hebrews 6:19 [NASB])

Hope realizes that it sometimes takes God time to work. It is the catalyst which makes divine ferment possible. It is the incentive which leads to unrealized perfection. Without hope man is less than a beast, he is a malfunctioning organism.

Doubts often slip into our lives like termites in a building.  These termite-like thoughts eat away at our faith. This happens when:

* Things I think should not happen, happen.

* When things I think should happen don’t happen.  Then what do you do?

* When things I think should happen NOW, happen later.

God knows what He is doing regardless of the waiting period.

These three things cause termites of doubt to work.  It is then the All-Pro of termite extermination is needed. That is, hope. 

“Saturday Review,” reported, “Hope …. is medicinal. This is not merely a statement of belief, but a conclusion proved by meticulously controlled scientific experiments.”

To be most effective this hope must be Christo-centric. Timothy expresses this in four all-inclusive words: “Christ Jesus our hope….” (I Timothy 1: 1).

Hope in the future fills the present with energy.

Can you say, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness?”