But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
Did you know that optimists tend to have a better sense of well-being and lower levels of stress? Were you aware that positive people also are more likely to have stronger cardiovascular and immune systems? This data helps explain why many of these hopeful individuals experience “exceptional longevity,” a term researchers use for those who outlive their pessimist peers—sometimes by a decade or more.
While there seems to be increased scientific evidence to support the belief that hopefulness and good health go hand-in-hand, this probably isn’t much of a surprise for those who believe in God. Why? Because Scripture is replete with the benefits of a hopeful outlook, as the prophet Jeremiah so eloquently summed up in the verse above: “blessed are those” who have decided to believe in the Lord, trusting Him for everything, including their future in Heaven one day.
But let’s be honest with one another, this is a challenging season for hope. After months of pandemic fears, fighting in the streets, and a floundering economy, people are fatigued. Add to these public crises personal dilemmas like finances, health troubles, aging parents, and problem kids, and no wonder so many individuals struggle to have a positive rather than pessimistic perspective. Indeed, you may feel much like David did when he cried out to the Lord so many centuries ago:
Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress.
My problems go from bad to worse. Oh, save me from them all! Feel my pain and see my trouble. Forgive all my sins. See how many enemies I have and how viciously they hate me! Protect me! Rescue my life from them!
Like this overwhelmed psalmist, we feel the pain of living in a fallen world, and these past few years have only exacerbated the “deep distress” we’ve experienced. How can we continue to hold up, let alone try to harvest feelings of hope in such troubling times?
Well, why don’t we take a look at how David completed his plea for help in Psalm 25: “Do not let me be disgraced, for in You I take refuge. May integrity and honesty protect me, for I put my hope in You” (verses 20-21).
David’s source of strength and support, even when “problems go from bad to worse,” was the Lord. Actually, he reiterates this trust in God over and over again in the Psalms. Here’s a sampling of how this bruised and battered believer harvested hope, even in the most challenging of circumstances:
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in You. Psalm 39:7
But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. Psalm 56:3
Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. Psalm 62:5
The Apostle Paul also discovered he couldn’t make it through life without completely trusting in God, and he often encouraged believers to focus on the hope that only the Lord can offer. In the book of Romans, one of those passages is particularly poignant: “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit” (chapter 15, verse 13). This leader of the early church understood the stresses and strains of living in a far-from-perfect world, and no doubt he cried out to God just as David had done “see how many enemies I have and how viciously they hate me!” Yet because of life’s difficulties, Paul had learned to rely on the Source of Hope who not only promises His assistance but also peace, joy, and a confidence that no one or nothing else this side of Heaven can provide.
What about you? Are you ready to experience more of these blessings in your life?
While researchers continue to look for explanations about “exceptional longevity” and other benefits of being more hopeful, you’re already promised some pretty amazing results when “you trust in Him.” Our Source of Hope offers everyone who believes a harvest of blessings, which extends from the here and now right into eternity!
May this season of Harvest be filled with many blessings and an increased sense of hope about the Lord’s plans for you!
Thought of the Season
I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope He has given to those He called—His holy people who are His rich and glorious inheritance.