Snow on the lilac bushes at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Second-hand hope

Ever have a day where nothing goes right? How about a week? A month? A year? When you get to that point, getting through means just holding on, sometimes by your fingertips. I don’t like living by reaction, but sometimes to survive, you have to.

When life gets to that point, you can try to plan, you can try to prepare, you can try to make some sense of the chaos, but really all you can do is take one day at a time.

Snow on the lilac bushes at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Snow on the lilac bushes at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Today’s verse is Psalm 25:5.
Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.

On those bad days, where everything falls apart and all your plans fall through, before you get discouraged, double check where you’ve placed your hope. Hope is a funny thing. It’s so important. You can’t make it through life without it. But for something so important, it’s notoriously easy to misplace.

Is your hope in a person? Or in a person’s idea? That’s not necessarily bad. Some people have ideas worth supporting, but people aren’t perfect and neither are their ideas. But should you put the whole weight of your hope in something fallible?

Is your hope in a religion? Also not necessarily bad. But when you get right down to it, religion is a system of rules derived from God’s (or a god’s) authority and communicated by people. And it’s difficult to separate man’s rules from that communication some times. As well-intentioned as people are, we don’t always get it right. So should you put the whole weight of your hope in something people claim God said?

This verse says it all. Put your hope in the God who saves us. That means put your hope in what He actually says, what’s written in the Bible, what’s true. Don’t rely solely on what someone else tells you God said. I’m not saying don’t listen to your pastor, but there’s a big difference between putting your hope in God says and putting your hope in what your pastor says God said.

Hope needs to be personal, just like faith. Second-hand hope is easy to misplace.

When life goes wrong (and it will), make sure your hope is in what God actually says. If God said it, it’s true, and you can trust it. If God said it, He’ll do it. And you can put your hope in it. No, He may not act the way you think He will. I guarantee He won’t act when you want Him to, but He will act. And it will turn out better than you expect. But if you’re trusting someone else’s interpretation of God’s word, you may end up fighting Him through the whole process.

Make sure your hope is in Him and Him alone. And if you don’t know, figure it out. Get to know Him. Learn what He actually says. Ask Him for help understanding. He’s never turned anyone who truly seeks Him away.