Have you been on Facebook lately?
The start of a new year is always a fun time to have a little Facebook newsfeed scroll. I usually get inspired by my friends and everyone’s new year’s goals, game plans, dreams and personal mission statements for the next 12 months. I love to pray for each person’s post that I read, that they’d truly fulfill everything that is in their heart for the coming year.
While some people are dreaming bigger, going back to the gym and making faith-driven decisions, others are digging around in themselves trying to figure out what went wrong the previous year and how they can make deep, heart changes for the new year.
Personally, I felt years ago to not start the new year looking at what needs a tune up in my insides, but to focus on Jesus and everything that He has done in and through me the previous year. I love to make declarations about what the next 12 months will bring, and begin to dream with God about what He desires for me in the coming weeks.
If something comes up I just repent and move on, knowing that there is now therefore no condemnation for me in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1) and that in His Presence I am fully loved back into inner health.
I won’t lie though…I am definitely going back to the gym as well! Bring on the physical health!
This week, however, I did feel a special challenge from Holy Spirit to reevaluate and readjust myself in the area of HOPE. Holy Spirit never points out what’s “wrong” with us (the accuser does a good job of that already); He always reminds us of what we were created for and how we can smash the lies that are holding us back from that place.
This year, it seems that my area of lie-smashing was in the area of hope, and as He began to speak to me about this area I felt my heart come alive again as I felt Him wash over and over me with fresh perspective from Heaven.
Now I realize that what I deal with and the lies that I believe may not be what you face. But I also know that HOPE is a weapon, and one that is constantly stolen and bashed around by the enemy. The Bible says that hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:5), so my goal is to help expose and crush any disappointment from you that may be at the door of your soul!
I Googled the definition of “hope,” and I didn’t really like what I found. Everything seemed so…disappointing. The best definition I found was from Wikipedia, which says of hope: As a verb, its definitions include: “expect with confidence” and “to cherish a desire with anticipation.” I think I like what the Bible says better:
• This hope we have as an anchor of the soul… – Hebrews 6:19a
• Return to the stronghold, O prisoners who have the hope; This very day I am declaring that I will restore double to you. – Zechariah 9:12
• Then you would trust, because there is hope; And you would look around and rest securely. – Job 11:18
• But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.- Romans 8:25
• But as for me, I will look expectantly for the Lord and with confidence in Him I will keep watch; I will wait [with confident expectation] for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. – Micah 7:7
• Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13
The first scripture listed, from Hebrews, has become one of my favorites in the context of HOPE. Hope is actually an ANCHOR for our souls! The Greek word for anchor here is the word agkyra (ἄγκυρα) which represents the same kind of iron anchor that we always see in the cute little paintings on Pinterest from Hebrews 6:19. It holds us down, keeps us from blowing off with the winds of adversity, and it also in Greek represents a “safeguard.”
Hope is our safeguard from going off into an emotional mess whenever we start to feel the tension in the wait. It keeps us ANCHORED to Jesus and to promise. Hope doesn’t disappoint, it’s a stronghold and we are captured by it, and we can abound in it by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Friends, God’s word is TRUE. We can trust Him. We can have a confident expectation of God coming through, regardless of the circumstances. If the enemy has come to lie to you, ask Holy Spirit to fill you again with HOPE. Become a prisoner of hope! Allow it to anchor your soul and keep you full of joy and peace in believing. Do you need to reevaluate and readjust like me?
Allow the Father to be your guide as you walk together through His truth. He has a plan for you and wants to give you HOPE and a prosperous future (Jeremiah 29:11). And as we know, God’s Word never fails!
~ Mandy Woodhouse