I read something recently that stuck with me for a few days. Sometimes you read something and make a mental note. For whatever reason, it’s like you are about to learn something and that which you just read is a core component to it. But, it doesn’t all quite make sense… just yet.
Ever experience this?
Here’s what I read:
Job 11:18 – “Having hope will give you courage. You will be protected and will rest in safety.”
After I read that, I pondered for a moment the following thought: Seek hope for it breeds courage. Stop doing that which leads to despair. For there you will find fear.
I am not sure when it happened, but sometime in the last decade I became fascinated with reverse engineering things. I wanted to break stuff down in order to see what makes them work. So naturally, as I read this verse, I felt the need to do the same.
As I read it again, something stands out to me. In life, I think we get it all mixed up.
Instead of Having hope will give you courage, I think we do whatever we can to muster up enough courage to fight through that whichever we are facing in hopes of us finding this hope we are looking for on our own apart from hope.
Often times, we ask for the courage to face that which others are throwing upon us. Or so we think. As if their actions hold the keys of that which will only bring us hope.
Don’t get me wrong, I have been to places where those in power have the power to make things happen that could spark a hope that leads to courage. But what drives them?
Perhaps, what I’m looking for is a deeper hope? One that taps the depths of my very being and lights up the city streets of my present soul.
As I ponder this for a few days through the lens of my own life and areas where I could use some hope, I then stumbled upon this verse that simply could reverse engineer myself to a hope that leads to courage.
Psalm 40:12 – “For troubles surround me—too many to count! My sins pile up so high I can’t see my way out. They outnumber the hairs on my head. I have lost all courage.”
What keeps us from hope and therefore causes us to lose our courage? Try looking at the stuff in our lives that separate us from hope, our sins. Let’s seek to do this first before we seek to fend off the stuff of life that seemingly comes at us from every side. Maybe in doing so, we will find our Hope and therefore have the courage to face all that life has for us.
But, let’s not stop there.
“You will be protected and will rest in safety.”
Ponder that for a moment. How would this feel? Knowing you are protected and will rest in safety is a knowledge that simply exudes hope and breeds courage.
But how is this possible when one is mired in their own doing of sin?
Like One who knocks on the door waiting patiently to come in.. hope, courage, protection, rest, and safety awaits the invitation once sin is abruptly asked to leave by the One who is our hope.
The Hope that leads to courage starts, ends, and begins here. Read on.
Meditate on Psalm 40:
- I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.
- He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.
- He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.
- Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord, who have no confidence in the proud or in those who worship idols.
- O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them.
- You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings. Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand- you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings.
- Then I said, “Look, I have come. As is written about me in the Scriptures:
- I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.”
- I have told all your people about your justice. I have not been afraid to speak out, as you, O Lord, well know.
- I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart; I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly of your unfailing love and faithfulness.
- Lord, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me. Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me.
- For troubles surround me— too many to count! My sins pile up so high I can’t see my way out. They outnumber the hairs on my head. I have lost all courage.
- Please, Lord, rescue me! Come quickly, Lord, and help me.
- May those who try to destroy me be humiliated and put to shame. May those who take delight in my trouble be turned back in disgrace.
- Let them be horrified by their shame, for they said, “Aha! We’ve got him now!”
- But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “The Lord is great!”
- As for me, since I am poor and needy, let the Lord keep me in his thoughts. You are my helper and my savior. O my God, do not delay.