“Your hands have made and fashioned me;
give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.
Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice,
because I have hoped in your word.
I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous,
and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.
Let your steadfast love comfort me
according to your promise to your servant.
Let your mercy come to me, that I may live;
for your law is my delight…
Let those who fear you turn to me,
that they may know your testimonies…
My soul longs for your salvation;
I hope in your word.
My eyes long for your promise;
I ask, ‘When will you comfort me?..’
If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have given me life.” Psalm 119:73-77,79,81-82,92-93
“We… have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone… on our behalf.” Hebrews 6:18-20
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13
When other believers observe not an easy life, but an afflicted life that has hoped in the Lord’s steadfast love, and been held peaceful in His comfort, they have cause to rejoice. It is not how happy we are in our circumstances, but how strong is our faith when life is difficult that determines the influence our witness can have on their perception of Him. When we are weary of isolation, strapped for financial means, brokenhearted over rebellious children, grieved over a broken world,￼￼ into these dark places the truth of God’s promises shines. As we cling to this sure hope, the light seeps out and softens the furrowed brow, relaxes wrangling hands, and our smile on God’s sufficiency becomes contagious. ‘If they can hope, I can hope.’
How does the psalmist kindle his hope? He continually turns his thoughts to true truths: God designed and made him. God is faithful and loves steadfastly while He deals with him and measures his afflictions. God is merciful and gives comfort through His word. God’s word gives wisdom and life, therefore he chooses to delight and hope in Him. He finds in his Savior an anchor for his soul, and therefore cannot be moved by his life circumstances.
In whom, or what, am I putting my hope today? What difference does the anchor of God’s word make in my afflictions? There is great peace and joy in believing that who God is and what He has said is true. If we desire to be calm and steady in every affliction, we must long first for God in His word, and there fix our security with undeviating determination. Those around us who suffer will notice the Lord’s countenance of peace upon us, and be drawn to its benediction. (Numbers 6:24-26)
Lord, no matter what comes, keep me hoping in Your word, that others take notice of You, and rejoice.