Resting in Hope
Words from Jesus
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May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.—Romans 15:131
“Resting in the Lord”—just what does this mean? The picture that comes to your mind may be different from the next person’s, but more than anything‚ resting in Me means committing your every worry and care to Me in prayer‚ and not trying to carry those burdens on your own shoulders.
Resting in Me is an act of deep trust and love. It’s a verb—an action—because you have to consciously put forth the effort to trust in Me rather than attempt to sort things out in your own natural abilities. This doesn’t always come easily. Resting in Me takes truly handing your care or concern over to Me in full faith, knowing that I will take care of everything that concerns you in the way I know is best and will ultimately work the greatest good.
Picture yourself as a little child who knows that the safest and most secure place is being curled up in the arms of his loving parent. This child sleeps soundly there, confident in the knowledge that those arms will always be underneath him, supporting him. Likewise, you’ll always have the strength you need for each day as you commit your day to Me. The secret is in that simple act of dependence: giving your day to Me.
Are you tired and feel like you can’t take another step or meet even one more need or demand? I know and understand. I was in all points touched as you are, having experienced your human limitations.2 I always look at you with compassion and will give you the strength you need to continue on.
Do your prayers seem to be unanswered? Do you wonder if I really care and hear? These are questions that all My children ask and tests that they each have to go through in order for their faith to be strengthened. If you never faced difficulties and never had to weather a storm, your depth of faith and belief in Me would not be solid. It is when you pass through the wind, the rain, and the fires of life and you still remain steadfast in your determination to follow Me that your faith becomes pure gold.
I never promised an easy life, but I did promise to never leave you! I never said that you would be loved by those of this world‚ but I did promise that I would receive you as My own child. I never said that life would be without struggles, but I did promise that you could do all things through My strength, and they that wait upon Me will renew their strength.3
I can help you to see others and the situations around you with eyes that see the good and the possibilities. It’s not part of your natural makeup to always have a positive viewpoint. The challenges and the hard times of life can make things seem discouraging or disheartening, and it can be difficult to find the good in those circumstances. But if you ask Me for My point of view‚ I can show you the beauty and the victories and the good fruit that can come out of even the most difficult situations.
People may think you are naïve when you choose to maintain a positive point of view in times when circumstances seem to indicate otherwise‚ but remember, My wisdom can seem like foolishness to men.4 Any event can be viewed from many angles and perspectives, but the only truly correct view, the only complete view is My view. Seek Me to help you to see things as they truly are, can be, or will be, and you will have more faith, peace of mind, and a clearer understanding.
This life and its limited existence can be full of care‚ worry‚ and fear if you concentrate on those things. But if you instead choose to trust in Me and take on a positive perspective, you will begin to see the opportunity in difficulty and the positive in negative situations. You will have the faith to rise above the circumstances that weigh you down in this world and accept that there is a higher plan for your life, and I am the One who is ultimately in control.
No situation or circumstance is beyond My reach to help you through! So when you’re in a tight spot, even if it’s the tightest spot you’ve ever been in, remember that there’s always space for Me. I will never leave nor forsake you, least of all when things seem toughest. Look above and beyond the circumstances and trust in My presence in your heart, which will strengthen you.
Refuge in hope
When you trust in Me, you take refuge in Me. So trusting Me is much more than a matter of your words; it is mainly a matter of your will. As you go through this day, you will encounter many things that can make you anxious, including some of your thoughts.
If you don’t stay alert, anxious feelings can slip into your day without your noticing them. When this happens, you may wonder why you suddenly start to feel bad. Usually, you just ignore those feelings. Or you may try to numb them with food, drink, television, gossip, or other distractions. How much better it is to “catch” the worry-thoughts before they take hold of you. That is why I say, “Be on the alert!”
If you are watchful and alert, you can choose to take refuge in Me whenever anxiety comes at you. A refuge is a place that provides protection or shelter: a safe haven. It is something you turn to for help, relief, or escape.
I am eager to be your Refuge, and I am with you at all times. Nonetheless, you must exert your will by turning to Me for help. Thus, you make Me your refuge, demonstrating your trust in Me. Blessed—happy, to be envied—is the one who takes refuge in Me.5
I am recording each and every deed that you’ve done and are doing out of love for Me and others. Not one thing goes unnoticed by Me. As you pour out to others, I will pour in, and you can never outpour Me. I will bless and reward you for your labors of love. I give you tokens of these blessings and rewards now, little symbols or samples of what is to come, but it’s nothing compared to what’s waiting for you after this life.
When I think of you, I am filled with joy because I see the love, concern, and care that you give to others. Those who give out of love and expect nothing in return are truly great in My kingdom.
No amount of kindness and loving concern is ever wasted. Even the smallest bit of love planted in a needy heart will someday bring forth fruit. Love continues to love even when it’s not reciprocated. You may not always see the fruits of the love you give. Some people are harder to love than others, but I see all things, and love never ever fails.
Whatever you do, do it in love, and you will reap the eternal rewards I have promised.6
Originally published October 2006. Adapted and republished July 2020.
Read by Jon Marc. Music by Michael Dooley.
2 Hebrews 4:15.
3 Hebrews 13:5; John 14:3; Philippians 4:13; Isaiah 40:31.
4 1 Corinthians 1:25–29.
5 Sarah Young, Jesus Today (Thomas Nelson, 2012).
6 2 Corinthians 9:6; 1 Peter 5:4.