by Beth is a Bible devotional section. Beth’s writing
career began as a Bible devotional writer for newsletters. She
wrote for over 4 years for The Christian Crusader newsletter.
Fanning the Flames of Hope
By Beth McLendon
"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace
in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy
Spirit." Romans 15:13 NKJV
One day a Christian friend called me and said, "I can’t
deal with this woman at work. She is just awful, and she’s been
there for eighteen years. The boss really likes her. She’s
never going to leave!"
My friend described her hopeless situation in great detail. I knew
I needed to redirect her attention toward the power of God. Therefore,
I tried to suggest that God might intervene. However, I could not
get my sentence finished before she said, "No, nothing
is ever going to change."
Hope or Hopelessness – God says choose hope. Psalm 50:15 NKJV
says, "Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you,
and you shall glorify Me." God is saying that he wants us to
wait expectantly for him to rescue us from difficult
circumstances. God calls us to fan the flames of hope. Instead,
we often smother the flames of hope.
One month later, God rescued my friend from her co-worker. The difficult
woman took a job with another company. So the situation that was labeled
hopeless – in truth was not too difficult for God. However,
instead of waiting with expectancy, my friend was surprised
by the news.
What advantage do Christians have if they wait expectantly instead
of living in hopelessness? One advantage is that keeping hope alive
results in extra blessings. The Bible tells us that in Psalm 146:5
and Jeremiah 17:7. Even common sense tells us that waiting for something
good produces good fruit. We become happy, optimistic, confident,
full of faith and full of cheer. Smothering hope leads to hopelessness,
discouragement, despair, dejection, dismay, and depression.
Another reason to keep hope alive is because hopelessness taints your
witness for Christ. How can we expect to influence others to trust
in God, when we ourselves do not? When we have hope, we are shining
the light of Jesus in us. Moreover, the world is generally stunned
to see and hear someone who has hope. Having hope is not natural.
The world will be curious. God wants to use the hope within
us to draw people to himself. 1 Peter 3:15 KJV states, "Be ready
always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of
the hope that is in you with meekness and fear."
If you exhibit hope, people will notice and be curious!
When difficult times come, I have decided that
I will make the choice to fan the flames of hope!
See also: Proverbs 30:5 KJV
By Beth McLendon All Rights Reserved.