2016 ~ a year to hope...
On December 31st, 2015 I was preparing to usher in the new calendar year with worship when I came across a new (to me!) verse…
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing (trusting), so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
Two days later at a service, the speaker was talking about how he sensed God saying that 2016 is a year to hold onto hope, and the first verse he quoted was Romans 15:13. A friend I shared this with was excited to share that her pastor had preached on the same verse that same weekend!
My heart was struck. I had been struggling about having sincere hope for the new year to bring new opportunities. During 2015 I had lost vision for certain passions and callings, due to unforeseen delays and challenges. I realized through this verse that my problem was a lack of faith in “believing.” Since I hadn’t seen certain breakthrough or answers to prayer when I thought they were going to happen, I began to think maybe they weren’t God’s will but just my own wishful thinking. I lost faith in the dreams God had given me and desire to fulfill them. He reminded me that Yeshua [Jesus] is the “Messiah in you, the Hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Whether I get discouraged about personal, national, or global issues, He Himself is my Hope who lives in me. He encouraged me to trust and rest in His heart again. He has GOOD plans for a HOPE and a FUTURE (Jeremiah 29:11). I had placed my faith in circumstances instead of God, yet again! I’ve done it so many times and it happens so easily, BUT the remedy is simple: let go and refocus on Him. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18)
Here’s my prayer for you…
Romans 15:13 audio Copyright 2015 Jillienne Cherie
One of my favorite prayers in the bible is the man who came to Jesus with a demon-possessed son saying ‘”If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us!” Jesus responded with “If you can? All things are possible to him who believes.” The man prayed a prayer I have echoed countless times, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” That weak prayer was enough for Jesus to heal his son!
The Lord has been dealing with me about begging Him in prayer to do things versus listening to what He wants to do and then declaring that as a decree. It’s a mindset. Am I His slave or His daughter? When I pray, what am I believing about Him and myself? “What man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone?….How much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:9,11b) This is the difference between a servant and royalty. We are a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). Servants make requests without certainty that they will be granted, because they don’t have an inheritance in the house. Princes make confident requests because they DO have an inheritance in the house. Kings make decrees not requests, because they have already received their inheritance and know that it is their house.
Ironically, right after I typed the above paragraph I began to feel heavy spiritually, emotionally and physically. It was almost impossible for me to hold onto hope and my identity as I began to think of all the unfinished chores and tasks I have to do. There is also the illness I’ve been fighting and relational challenges facing me. It was not until I spoke with a friend who was filled with faith and hope that I was able to overcome. All this sounds so easy but walking in faith is a constant test of whether I’ll believe and speak God’s Word, regardless of what I see and feel in the moment. This is an act of my spirit taking authority over my soul (mind, will & emotions). David’s spirit commanded his soul to get in line with God’s truth:
“Bless the LORD, o my soul and all that is within me, bless His holy name…
forget none of His benefits (blessings):
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion,
Who satisfies your desire with good things, that your youth is renewed like the eagle.”
I get breakthrough the quickest when I bless the Lord with my mouth using scripture and offer thanksgiving for any and everything, especially when I feel an aversion to it or I’m tired. This simple and powerful recipe for walking in His presence [where faith is found] was given to us in Psalm 100:4 “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.” Praise and thanksgiving truly ARE powerful weapons that disarm the heaviness brought on by disappointment, hope deferred, fear, anxiety, anger, frustration, confusion, illness, and a host of other enemies. Reminding myself of who God is and who I am, positions me for faith in the impossible, which ushers in hope for the future. Choosing to hope in Him opens the door for His joy to fill me, giving me His strength to walk in my destiny unhindered!
I pray great grace be released to you… grace to pursue knowing Him and knowing your identity and position in Him, that you might be filled with the faith to hope for God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done this year. I trust that the Romans 15:13 prayer sung over you will flood your atmosphere with the peace of heaven as you choose to hold onto hope.
Blessings of hope to you, Beloved of God!