Prisoner of Hope
Prisoner of Hope … I struggled with illness for most of my life!
I attended the Majestic Women’s retreat in Sept 2016 where I received: acceptance; great teachings; prayer; friendship; and I was healed by God! So finally, just before I turned 42, healing! Praise God!
Now during those years of illness hope was a very complicated 4 letter word!
Did I constantly hope for health? Of course!
Did I constantly hope for breakthrough? Of course!
Did I see that? Well I did have ‘spurts’ of relative good health and I did manage to have children despite infertility being spoken over me! There was even a time where I thought I was healed.
But when sickness again held me tight within its grasp, I was taken into the depths of despair! I was bedridden for almost the entire 28 months!
Where was my hope then? Stolen!
So what is hope? Some definitions are:
A feeling of expectation and a desire for a particular thing to happen; a person or thing that may help or save someone; grounds for believing that something good may happen.
And is often used in the context of: wanting something to happen. I am a prisoner of hope!
In Psalm 39:7 David asks: “Lord, where do I put my hope?” and then goes on to declare “My only hope is in you.”!
During my recent illness I felt stripped of everything! I faced what I called ‘my heartbreaking hat trick’! I lost my health (thus ability); I lost my job (thus provision); I lost our beloved family dog (thus my source of comfort and joy).
I fell into the depths of despair! I was led to read the story of Job which at first scared me as I wondered what more could be taken from me! But then as I read on I saw how somehow in the midst of his terrible turmoil Job had hope! Just Like David, in Psalm 39, Job placed his hope in God. How? Was this because people were saying things like this to him to keep his focus on God:
“Then Zophar the Naamathite replied to Job: “Having hope will give you courage. You will be protected and will rest in safety.” Job 11:1,18 (NLT)
Hope can give us courage? Really! That’s cool!
I love the word courage! Here is why:
“Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something is more important than fear;”
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
What’s more important than fear? Love, for perfect love drives out ALL fear! 1 John 4:18 So I had to focus on God’s love for me! I had to take hold of the fact that God’s love and spirit can make me brave!
“Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is the willingness to act in spite of my fear.” Michael Hyatt
This was a HUGE thing! To act in spite of fear! How could I when I was almost paralysed by illness? How could I possibly act out courage and hope?
Well I could act it in my heart; in my thoughts and in my spirit! Rather than focusing on my fears and inadequacies I would try to focus on who I was created to be – a child of The Most High King. This concept was extremely difficult to grasp hold of, especially when my situation seemed so bleak! But I chose to: listen to songs that lifted my spirit; read stories that gave me hope and encouragement; read devotions that were balm to my hurting heart; and most importantly I chose to press into God!
I can now reflect and see some wonderful lessons I learnt during my illness. The main one was that I placed my hope in God, desperately seeking breakthrough that sickness would be totally eradicated in my life, and guess what it is!
I am healed!
I am being restored!
I am being made whole!
I am being transformed into the image of God. Romans 8
Do you have hope? If not can I encourage you to place your confidence in God’s faithfulness!
Then courage will bloom so that you can ‘press on’ despite the fear!
I guarantee you that as you begin to renounce fear and speak out the promises of God great things will shift and change! Hope will bloom and grow!