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Finding Hope Through Faith & Prayer

Updated on December 15, 2012
drmiddlebrook profile image

Dr. Middlebrook is a self-publishing expert, author (pen name Beax Rivers), online course developer, and former university professor.

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With faith, hope is never too far away.
With faith, hope is never too far away. | Source

Our Nation Needs Hope . . .

“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.” (Psalms 16:9)

As a nation, we have just gone through another school massacre. Once again our hearts are heavy with grief. It was Connecticut this time, but it felt like it was next door. We're praying as we're mourning for the loss of the innocent, the beautiful and the beloved. And we're praying for love to touch the hearts of those who are disturbed, who don't know how to seek help, or where to discover hope. We may never understand the why, but we know that even though hope is sometimes hard to find, that still, we must have hope.

If you have faith, hope is never far away. Because of faith, you can always find hope through prayer. When you believe in the promises of God, faith will lead you to the discovery of all the hope you need. Even though it must, at times, be replenished, renewed, or rediscovered, hope is always just a prayer away.

This Hub is about hope. Hope for living a happier, more courageous life. Hope for developing a stronger and more sincere connection with God and with His purpose for your life. Hope for personal strength, peace and contentment. Hope for love. Hope for joy. Hope for happiness. Hope for getting through no matter how hard life comes at you. Hope for letting go when you have to. Hope for endurance. Hope for closure. Hope for new happiness when your old happiness is no longer true.

But what is hope? God's Instruction Manual says it begins with waiting in patience for that we see not. The Bible speaks of hope in Roman 8:24-27:

“For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”

Through it all, we must have hope.
Through it all, we must have hope. | Source

We need Big Faith, and More Hope . . .

We need stronger, bigger faith, and always, more hope. God wants us to know that hope is more than simply waiting in patient expectation for that we cannot see. The Scripture from Romans goes on to explain the nature of God-guided hope. It tells us that when we wait with patience for that we cannot see, the Holy Spirit becomes involved to help our infirmities--our weaknesses, because we're not even strong enough to know how to pray for strength. But with faith, because of the power of the Holy Spirit, we’re not just waiting, we’re also getting stronger because we're being helped along in our patience, and in our wait by the Holy Spirit of God. And the Holy Spirit of God is:

1. Helping us get beyond our infirmities—our weaknesses—by strengthening us from the inside out.

2. Improving our ability to pray “for what we should pray for as we ought" to pray.

3. Making intercession for us, petitioning God in our favor.

4. Making groaning for us that cannot be uttered. No one except God can hear the groaning of the Holy Spirit, because the Bible tells us the Holy Spirit makes sounds that cannot be uttered.

Hope is never hidden, but we do have to seek it.
Hope is never hidden, but we do have to seek it. | Source

When we have faith, the Holy Spirit is there, fighting for us. It is acting inside of us, to help us as we hope. Because of our belief in a living God who cannot lie, we know we have a reason for hope. Because we have the Holy Spirit residing in us, we’re empowered in patience and guided in how to pray and in what to say to God. We also have the Holy Spirit petitioning God on our behalf as we pray.

When we have hope born of faith, we don’t have to worry about our thoughts and prayers being strong enough to reach God, because we have extra arms linked to God in the form of the Holy Spirit. We have an intermediary acting on our behalf. And finally, as if all this were not enough, we have the Holy Spirit making utterances, groaning in a way that we cannot hear.

The Scripture teaches that as we give over our hope to the will of God, in the process we are searching our own hearts. The Holy Spirit empowers us with a knowing that God’s will is going to be done. Sometimes God will allow the Holy Spirit to let us know the outcome of things hoped for, before the actual outcome is realized. It may not always be a conscious knowing, but our inner spirit knows what God’s desire is, and the peace it sends tells us everything is going to be all right.

This kind of knowing is something private between you and God. Deep down inside, you are content because you know God has heard your prayer, therefore you become able to live in patient hope and contented expectation.

No matter how dark things may seem, hope is there, waiting to be found.
No matter how dark things may seem, hope is there, waiting to be found. | Source

Hope in the Promises of God

Psalms 31:24 teaches: “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.”

Good courage leads to a stronger heart that is strengthened by the Holy Spirit. Good courage develops from having faith to believe God’s promises for your life. This belief, this faith, is the cornerstone of hope.

The apostle Paul teaches us the way of hope in Colossians 2:6-7, where he says:

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”

As we move forward in our personal relationship with God, we must always remember to give thanks to God for the gift of understanding and knowing. Holding on to faith, being built up by it and established in it, keeps us strong--no matter how much it is tested. It keeps us standing steadfast in hard times. Even when life looks dreary, even when light seems to be shrouded in darkness, and even when it seems there is no sound reason to have hope, through faith we find it. We discover it, once again, in a loving place it waits, cradling the expectation of peace that we need to know we will experience, again, all that God has promised, including that which is not yet seen or felt.

Hope is for things unseen.
Hope is for things unseen. | Source

The Beauty and Poetry of Hope For What We See Not

Our hope first has to be in developing a more steadfast, unwavering faith in God. Everything else comes next. Grounding our hope in faith is where the beauty lies. It is the poetry of life and of light, that which God created for us to seek and to find. The Bible teaches in Psalms 78:7:

“That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God.”

We must make sure that when we are hoping, we’re hoping in God. Hoping in God is different from hoping something will happen outside the realm of belief and faith in God. Even those who don’t believe in God can hope. But, without God, hope is not founded on God's promises. It is “hoping against hope” which Webster’s defines as “to hope without any basis for expecting fulfillment.” People cannot promise anything with regard to our hopes, because no human controls things hoped for (even though many believe that they do).

We are taught in Psalms 146:5-6:

“Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever.”

The apostle Paul prayed in Romans 15:13:

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

Through faith, hope lives.
Through faith, hope lives. | Source

Hope, through faith in God, is the antidote for discouragement. It keeps you in tune with God through the Holy Spirit, patiently and expectantly waiting for provision or deliverance. It is a circle of connection. It joins you with the power of the Holy Spirit, giving you the strength you need to keep discovering the hope you need to get through it all.

With faith, you never have to hope in vain. God has promised us that with Him, hope is real. On Him, we can depend. No matter how dark things may seem, He is in control. With faith we walk with God, and with God, everything works together for good. God’s plan may be different from your plan, or from my plan. We don't always understand God's plans. But we can be sure that His purpose is always greater than ours. And that is why we have to build our hopes on things eternal by holding to God’s unchanging hand.

In hope we can defeat darkness and evil—even as the flames of hell are licking at our heels. Faith in God keeps us looking up, when everything seems to be melting down. It keeps us balanced, safe and secure, when we’re walking on a tightrope. It envelops us in positive thoughts, compels us to seek the counsel of positive-minded people, and sometimes sends them looking for us when we are too weak to walk.

Life lived in the positive light of hope keeps us grounded, raised too high up and too close to God for darkness to overtake and defeat us. It provides for us a foundation, established and poised to believe; destined to emerge triumphant.

Prayer for Hope by drmiddlebrook.hubpages.com.

© 2012 Sallie B Middlebrook PhD

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    • drmiddlebrook profile image
      Author

      Sallie B Middlebrook PhD 3 years ago from Texas, USA

      Thank you so much Melanie Fourie. That is such a wonderful compliment, and I am honored, humbled, and filled with hope because of it. As always, I'm just praying that the Holy Spirit of God, who is my inspiration and my muse, will continue to guide me as I think and as I write.

    • Melanie Fourie profile image

      Melanie Fourie 3 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      A truly awesome hub. Thank you for sharing and allowing God to use you as His mouthpiece. God bless you.

    • drmiddlebrook profile image
      Author

      Sallie B Middlebrook PhD 4 years ago from Texas, USA

      Thank you Jeanine, for those comments. It is true that it is written, in Deuteronomy 8:19-20, that "Like the nations the LORD destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the LORD your God." God's grace and mercy are probably the only things sustaining us now. Let us keep praying for our nation, as we pray for all of its inhabitants.

    • drmiddlebrook profile image
      Author

      Sallie B Middlebrook PhD 4 years ago from Texas, USA

      I could not agree more, dailytop10. Every nation on earth needs to have hope as we see more and more evidence of the turbulent and troubled times we're living in. We must keep putting God first in our lives, even as we pray for victims and those left behind. Thank you so much for those words.

    • drmiddlebrook profile image
      Author

      Sallie B Middlebrook PhD 4 years ago from Texas, USA

      Yes, lindsay 123. Let us offer our prayers to the victims, their families and loved ones, and to the family of the perpetrator. Having faith and trust in God is paramount, especially in times like these. Thank you so much for reading, and for the encouragement to "put all our hopes in God." Amen.

    • drmiddlebrook profile image
      Author

      Sallie B Middlebrook PhD 4 years ago from Texas, USA

      Thank you, izettl. I'll be sure to read your article, and my prayers are with you and your town too. There is so much evil in the world, faith in God and His promises are our only hope. I hope we will see more Hubs devoted to helping our nation cope, heal, and work for peace within the nation and beyond it.

    • drmiddlebrook profile image
      Author

      Sallie B Middlebrook PhD 4 years ago from Texas, USA

      Thank you, sunkentreasure, for those beautiful and reassuring words (lyrics). Thanks for reminding us that even though "things might look impossible to you . . . God's power is greater than you can imagine, [because] God has no limits." You're so right.

    • profile image

      Jeanine 4 years ago

      this hub is so right... I had a friend say last night, that we had asked God out of the schools, so she thought He was no longer there to protect usor our children as well... that statement whether true or not ran a cold chill up my back... I have read in the bible where God would take His hand of protection away from the people who rejected him... praying for our country...

    • dailytop10 profile image

      dailytop10 4 years ago from Davao City

      Every nation needs hope. Amidst the rampant violence worldwide, let's all pray for the victims that may recover in time and to those they left behind. Thank you for sharing this beautiful hub. Good day and God bless us all!

    • lindsay123 profile image

      Article Writer 4 years ago from Philippines

      The school massacre was a very sad event. The best thing that we could do now is to offer our prayers to the people who became the victim of the said massacre and at the same time prayers to their family as well. I love reading hubs like this since it reminds me that amidst how cruel and bad this world has become, many are still believing and trusting in God. Let us put all our hopes in God.

    • izettl profile image

      Lizett 4 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Great hub. I also wrote about the shootings. I live near the mall in Oregon that had a shooting earlier this week so it prompted me to write something and now with the school shooting these kind of hubs need to be written. I based mine on evil which i see is included in yours too but I love that you based it on hope. Well done.

    • sunkentreasure profile image

      BERNARD LEVINE 4 years ago from RUIMSIG, SOUTH AFRICA

      IT’S YOUR TIME FOR A MIGHTY BREAKTHROUGH By BERNARD LEVINE

      Things might look impossible to you

      but God's power is greater than you can imagine

      God has no limits

      God will do more for you

      than you could ever ask or think

      No person or obstacle can stand against God

      It's not up to the world to decide on your success

      It's up to God

      Don't give up on your faith

      Don't be discouraged

      Keep believing and going forward

      Keep your eyes on the prize

      You don't know the wonderful things

      God has waiting for you around the corner

      God will bring the right people to cross your path

      God will take you to a new higher level

      Let God's Word repair your hurt and self-image

      Make God your best friend

      Praise God with your whole heart

      and you will see how much God will richly reward you.

      © Bernard Levine

    • drmiddlebrook profile image
      Author

      Sallie B Middlebrook PhD 4 years ago from Texas, USA

      Thank you so much Jackie Lynnley for those kind comments, for the vote up, and for sharing. I'm praying we will all feel the need for fellowship and will continue to encourage one another. Darkness has indeed come upon us, once again. Tears help, but they can never calm all the sadness. Hope is our only hope.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Great write and I think you are very right. I think in the soon coming days we are going to need hope and faith as never before and that is why it is so important to fellowship and encourage one another. Voting up and sharing.