We wait in hope for the LORD (Psalm 33:20).
I’m glad you’ve joined us for 30 Days of Hopeful. I am always on the lookout for secrets when it comes to learning to persevere with hope. My greatest lessons have not come through discipline or fervor—but rather through weakness. I’ve often shared how I learned to hold onto hope when my husband and I battled through years of infertility before our children were born.
Waiting for the deepest longings of our heart is not what I’d call fun. Many of you know what I’m talking about. Perhaps you have prayed and prayed about something. You’ve heard God whisper to you to keep believing. And yet the answer still hasn’t come.
But a time of waiting can become a season when our “hope muscles” have a chance to grow. The Bible gives plenty of encouragement about how to wait with hope: “We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you” (Psalm 33:20-22).
During my season of waiting, I learned to strengthen myself on the promises of God’s Word. I held tightly to verses about healing—too many to count—day after day, month after month, year after year. I learned to hear God’s whispers of encouragement and trust His character, even when my circumstances seemed hopeless. In short, I gained strength through the secret of what the apostle John called “abiding in Christ” (John 15:7).
If you’re in your own waiting room right now, be encouraged by the words of 19th century preacher, Charles Spurgeon: “The longer the blessing is in coming, the richer it will be when it arrives. That which is gained speedily by a single prayer is sometimes only a second-rate blessing; but that which is gained after many a desperate tug and many an awful struggle is a full-weighted and precious blessing.”
So wait with hope, dear friend. Your blessing my be nearer than you can imagine.
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“How do I hold onto my hopes and dreams when God seems silent?” The question came from a good friend and a sincere follower of Christ. Her question hit a chord. How do we handle those times when we have prayed and prayed, but the answer is so slow in coming?
Perhaps we sense that a particular dream is God’s plan for us. But the days, weeks, months, and even years go by. How can we keep this dream alive? Over the next few weeks, we’ll explore some ways to stay full of hope–30 Days of Hopeful.
I think back to what I refer to as my season of “wait training.” In our early years of marriage, David and I looked forward to the day we would have children. But our hopes for a baby stretched into six months, a year, two years, and eventually four years. Forty-eight straight months of drugs, surgeries, tests, tests and more tests. And still no baby. In time, we eventually had our three children.
But the years of waiting proved to be a good time to seek God. Strength came as I rested in the Lord, studied His Word, and held fast to His promises…day after day. I learned what Jesus meant when He encouraged us to “abide” in Him (John 15:5).
I drew special strength from Psalm 37:5: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” I began to believe that God would either fulfill my heart’s desires or change my desires to reflect His will for me.
I also found comfort when I stepped out of my own pain to serve others. I explored ways to serve the least and lost in my own community. Opportunities opened to travel to Africa on my first of what would be many missions trips. I discovered that when I poured my life out for those hurting worse that I was, an unexplainable joy began to spring forth.
Seeking God and serving others while waiting for my own dream gave birth to a larger purpose. And “not getting what I wanted when I wanted it” turned out to be one of the best tools to sharpen my hearing of God’s voice. I discovered what it means to “delight in the Lord.”
Friends, our seasons of waiting can open the door to deeper intimacy with Jesus. What’s more–those times we thought were barren–can become our seasons of great fruitfulness. Let’s decide today to take joy in the journey.
2 Comments | tags: dreams, faith, hopes, infertility, prayer, wait training | posted in hopes and dreams, Wake Up and Pray! Be Alert