Life At Its Best: Never lose hope

By Jim Graff
Dec. 13, 2013 at 6:13 a.m.

Hope is a powerful thing. It can lead underdog sports teams to triumph over superior opponents or small armies to defeat enemies twice their size. When present, it inspires us to pursue greater things. However, without it, we lose determination to accomplish our dreams.

We see this in the life of Moses. He had a passion to free his people from Egyptian rule. One day, this passion led him to kill an Egyptian slave driver who was beating a Hebrew slave.

When Pharaoh heard this, he threatened to kill him, so he fled to Midian. While there, he met and married a woman and worked as a shepherd for 40 years. During that time, the hopes he had of saving his people faded.

However, God hadn't given up. One day while Moses was watching sheep, He called to him from a burning bush. He told him He'd chosen him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

Moses assured God He had the wrong man for the job. He explained that he was inadequate as a speaker and a leader. Beyond that, he'd killed a man. There was no way anyone would follow him.

After a few more excuses, God had heard enough. He assured Moses, "I will help you speak and will teach you what to do."

And He did. Moses went on to be one of the greatest leaders of His time. He led more than 600,000 Israelites out of captivity and into God's Promised Land. (Not bad for a guy who can't "speak or lead.") He fulfilled the passions of his heart. And all because he allowed God to restore his hope in who he could be.

The same is true for us. We each have dreams we want to fulfill. But over time, our hopes of accomplishing them can easily fade. Maybe it's because, like Moses, we feel under qualified or under prepared to do what God's asking.

Or maybe we're convinced we've made too many mistakes. The good news is, He never gives up on us. He never quits believing in what He can accomplish through us. And, if we'll let Him, He'll begin restoring hope to the dormant dreams of our heart.

Keeping those dreams alive starts with refusing hindrances to God's hope. Some of the most common hindrances we face are feelings of inadequacy. We see pain, problems and past mistakes as limitations to what God can accomplish.

But He commands us in Isaiah 43:18-19, "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past." Or as Pumba from "Lion King" said, "Put your behind in the past." We can't change it. However, we can keep it from stealing our hope in what God wants to do in our future.

Then, rest in His ability. In Isaiah 43:19, God goes on to say, "See, I'm doing a new thing. . I'm making a way in the wilderness." We don't have to try to fulfill our dreams on our own.

In fact, we can't. God says He's the one making a way. He's simply asking us to obey and trust the power of His grace. Live confident in His ability to work through you. Let Him restore hope to the dreams of your heart today.

Jim Graff is the Senior Pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria.



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