If you feel weighed down by life or regularly feel disappointed, I hope you keep reading.
As I was walking and praying today, I was flooded with thoughts. I’m praying that I can put them into words that make sense.
Misplaced Hope. That is what I heard in my spirit when I was thinking about people weighed down and regularly feeling like the season they are in is just overwhelming and relentless.
Misplaced Hope means that when hope is placed on a certain outcome, a certain preconceived notion of what our path should look like, a certain response we expect from someone, a specific need fulfilled in a way that we have contrived in our minds would be perfect….then our hope is misplaced.
The result of that is disappointment, anxiety, doubt, and perhaps anger toward God or others.
When I thought I was done with my surgeries after the 2nd one, I had in my mind that my surgery season was done. After the 1st surgery when they cut my belly open top to bottom and gave me a colostomy bag (as you recall, my worst fear!), it took me a while to overcome the feeling that my On Fire Fit path was not going the way I had contrived in my mind. But, God’s faithfulness helped me to face a fear that had loomed in the back of my mind and caused me to realize that even if your “worst fear” happens, that God gets you through and actually works good through it! Then, going into my 2nd surgery they hoped to do it by laparoscopy but due to adhesions, had to recut the same incision top to bottom. Again, my misplaced hope that this 2nd surgery would be simpler and therefore a faster recovery caused me to pause again in some moments of doubt.
After recovering from that 2nd major surgery, I hoped that it was behind me and now time to move on with the plan I had in my mind for On Fire Fit.
When I found out that I’d need yet a 3rd surgery and that my muscle wall was pulling apart and hernias were popping through, I felt like I was reeling with a mixture of disappointment, anxiety, and doubt. One thing I never had was anger toward God but all the other emotions made it feel like my nose was against a wall and I couldn’t see anything clearly.
That time of looking for the right surgeon for that 3rd surgery turned into the best season of my life. Yes. I can really say that. That time of uncertainty in the path but becoming fully certain that God had a good plan for me was a breakthrough time for my inner spirit. Truth be told, none us would ever choose hard seasons to go through. Our instinct is to run far and fast away from pain. However, this world is full of pain and we will never be done with that until we reach heaven.
If we put our hope in painless paths; if we put our hope in all joy filled journeys; if we put our hope in peoples perfect reactions; if we put our hope in anything other than the Lord and His ability to take anything and everything and use it for good….then we are promised to consistently and regularly be disappointed and disheartened.
Romans 8:24-25 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
How to put our hope in the right place? I know no other way than to personally spend time quietly with God and His Word. There aren’t any shortcuts and no one can spoon feed it to you. No one can say or write anything that will cut to your core like God’s Word and prayer.
It is through the work of His Holy Spirit that you can have hope and have it placed on the only One who doesn’t disappoint.
Sometimes it starts as a simple act of obedience. You might not “feel” like spending the time in the Bible or prayer, but through the first step of obedience, the door has been cracked open to allow the Spirit to flood you with His power. Ask for Him to give you the will because even THAT comes from Him!
Romans 15:13 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.