Do you find yourself battling frequently with a feeling of having no hope? I have felt this way, especially in the last year or so. Many are the times when I have prayed, “God give me hope. Restore my hope.”
I don’t think it is just a response to the current state of our world, although that is a factor. For those of us who know the Lord, it might be a deliberate spiritual attack. And we cannot afford to take it lying down.
First of all, we must understand that God’s will for us is to be filled with hope. If we are experiencing the opposite, something is happening which is against His will. That should be a signal that we need to stand in warfare to retake what has been filched from us.
Hope is such an important part of our covenant with the Lord that He calls Himself “the God of hope”: “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.” — Romans 15:13
The God of hope desires to fill us with joy and peace as we believe on Him. He also wants us to abound in hope — which happens through the power of the Holy Spirit continually working within us. This verse has really come alive to me in recent weeks. I have meditated on it and prayed it back to the Lord frequently. As a result, I am sensing a fresh hope building inside of me.
Some people can pinpoint a specific disappointment or sorrow which caused them to lose their hope. If this is you, you may need to ask Jesus to heal the wound. Like blood oozes from an injured spot, an untended emotional wound can cause our hope to leak away. Maybe you cannot identify a specific cause. You just feel a general blanket of hopelessness weighing you down. No matter what the cause is, there are some ways we can fight back.
The Aggressive Use of God’s Word
Any time we are undergoing spiritual attack, declaring the Word is our prime weapon. It is called “the sword of the Spirit” in Ephesians 6:17. When Jesus was tempted by the devil (Luke 4:1-14), in each case, He parried Satan’s thrusts by declaring what the Scriptures said: “It is written.” The last verse of that passage tells us that when the assault was over, “Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee.”
In addition to quoting specific Scriptures to silence the enemy’s lies, meditate on uplifting verses about hope and the promises of God. Romans 15:4 tells us “that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” And Lamentations 3:26 reminds us, “It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.” If you need some verses to get you started, I’ve got a great list of them at my webpage, Encouragement from God’s Word. Even better, ask God to bring to your remembrance verses He wants to personalize to you to rebuild your hope.
Along with the aggressive use of God’s Word, we must also repent of the words we have already spoken which aligned us with hopelessness:
- “I can’t go on.”
- “I give up.”
- “This is never going to change.”
- “There is no hope for me.”
These are sinful utterances, because they are not what God says about our situation. We need to ask His forgiveness for fighting against ourselves and against His plans for us through our contrary words.
Assuredly, the opportunity will come up again to fall into the same trap. So, when the hopeless feelings resurface, we must commit ourselves to resisting giving way to those wrong declarations. While in a faith battle, the less we verbalize how we feel, the better. Pour out your weakness to the Lord in your heart if you need to, but then also tell Him you will trust in Him in spite of the feelings. Don’t spill from your lips anything which opposes what God says about the situation.
Worship and praise dispel darkness and bring the atmosphere of heaven down all around us. Our outlook can completely change, if we persevere in deliberate extolling of the Lord. It is not easy. Worship is a sacrifice (Hebrews 13:15). It goes against our flesh.
It is also a tool of warfare. Psalm 8:2 tells us, “Out of the mouth of babies and infants You have ordained [established] strength because of Your enemies, that You might still the enemy and the avenger.” Jesus quoted this verse, “Out of the mouth of babies and infants You have perfected praise” (Matthew 21:16). We are strengthened to overcome, and the turmoil with which the enemy tries to afflict us is silenced, as we aggressively worship.
Genuine hope is not based on the temporary situations we face right now. It has its foundation in Christ. Ultimately, our hope rests in living from an eternal perspective, our eyes fastened on Jesus, so that we are not like unbelievers, who have no hope.
May we take back from the enemy of our souls the hope which is rightfully ours, and may we then be bearers of it to our hurting world, assuring them that the hope we possess can be theirs in Christ, too.