A Heart That Hopes OLS — Week Two

What hope can you have when you are in life’s darkest valleys?

I’m asking because I believe God gives something very powerful, a great blessing, to those who are in a journey through the valley.

What does He give?

Vision.

And vision – seeing life-changing, powerful truth from God’s Word – will literally transform your life through the power of the Holy Spirit.

One of my favorite books filled with life–changing, powerful prayers is The Valley of Vision — A Collection Of Puritan Prayers and Devotions.

In Week Two, Day 2 of A Heart That Hopes In God, we had the opportunity to read one of my favorite prayers from The Valley of Vision. And something about that prayer deeply touched my heart this week. I saw in a new way that when I am in a valley, I have the opportunity to see truths about God and His Word that I would never be able to see if the way was smooth and there was no fiery trial. I realized His light shines more brightly in the darkness.

And that is exactly what God has been doing this week for us all in Psalm 139. He has been casting His illuminating light on some powerful, all–encompassing promises that give us all the hope we can possibly need to hang tough in dark valleys where we feel so alone.

I have learned some powerful truths from Psalm 139 — when my dreams are shattered God is broadening my vision

  • He is always with me
  • He will guide me with His hand and support me with His strength
  • He works even in darkness to transform my life
  • He always thinks about me and loves me
  • He always has a plan for me
  • He loves me with an everlasting love

In my valley, I see the truths of Psalm 139 in a whole new light — and I am encouraged and filled with hope.

Paul prays these words for the church at Ephesus —

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.
Ephesians 1:18-19

The Greek word for enlightened means to illuminate, give light to, and to make one see or understand.

For Week Two, I chose a portfolio photo from the myPhotoWalk Sedona Gallery because of how dramatically God’s sunlight brightens up the red rocks of Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte in the distance. As my husband and I were driving along Highway 179 headed toward Oak Creek, AZ, just south of Sedona, AZ, I remember being startled by the intense sunlight striking the red rock formations. I had been to Sedona many times, but I don’t believe I had ever seen the light so beautiful, contrasted against the darkness of billowing clouds leading an impending rain storm. I remember telling my husband, “These may be the best photos of the trip.”

God’s light shines brightly on His promises. If you are in a valley, then take heart dear friend. I believe that you are in the perfect place to see as you have never seen before. And the result will be hope. As you open God’s Word, you will find His promises. And you will be “enlightened” through the power of the Holy Spirit. In other words, you will see and understand, and hope will pour into your heart.

Oh what encouragement we have even if we are in a valley. I loved these words from Day 4 of our study —

For when a soul sets out to find God it does not know whither it will come, and by what path it will be led; but those who catch the vision are ready to follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth, regardless of what that following may involve for them. And it is as they follow, obedient to what they have seen, in this spiirt o joyful adventure, that their path becomes clear before them, and they are given the power of their high calling. They are those who have the courage to break through conventionalities, who care not at all what the world thinks of them, because they are entirely taken up with the tremendous realities of the soul and God.
Christian Missionary Society in When God Came

And so, dear friend, catch the vision of God’s promises today even in deep darknesses, and you will find hope. May we all experience real hope — Holding On with Patient Expectation!

About Our Study

   Download the A Heart That Hopes In God — 2014–2015 Online Bible Study Schedule

Your Assignment

Your assignment this next week is to study Week 3, Days 1-7, Hope When You Are In Trouble — Psalm 31. Please feel free to come back here throughout the week to read comments and respond. In our third week of study on hope we are going to live in Psalm 31 and discover encouraging promises for all who may be experiencing a devastating trial or a seemingly impossible circumstance. These promises are so powerful that you can’t help but experience a new and deeper hope in your Lord. At the end of Week Three, you may also want to enjoy the companion Week Three message for A Heart That Hopes In God (Viewer Guide, pp95-96) — Looking Down From The Top – Digital M4V Video or Looking Down From The Top – Digital MP3 Audio. I will meet you back here with a new post and discussion question on Saturday, January 30, 2016.

I encourage you to use the words of this prayer from my dear friend, Kelly Wysard, to draw near to God as we study God’s Word together —

Precious Lord and Savior, we approach the throne room of grace to give You our devotion and adoration. To tell of our desire to walk in obedience and trust to the One True God, the Lord Jesus Christ, Maker of Heaven and Earth. Creator of all things, and Master of our souls.

May we seek You and serve You with exceeding sweet delight knowing that You alone are drawing us near and making us complete in You. As we open the Word of God and meditate on Your instruction and cling to Your promises, may we become more like You. May we hang on Your every Word for dear life! May Your Word be musical instruction to our ears. May we sing praises treasuring Your glorious revelation one moment at a time on pilgrim’s way. May we have the mind of Christ, dear Father.

Now may the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing, so that we will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13). May this hope be as an anchor of the soul (Hebrews 6:19) as we persevere by the encouragement of the Scripture (Romans 15:4).

We ask all this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord, Amen.

A Prayer For You by Kelly Wysard

And now, dear friend, let’s share together what God is teaching us in the Comments section of this post as we respond to the Sola Scriptura questions.

♥ God bless you as you continue this great adventure of knowing Him!

Catherine

Sola Scriptura

What was the greatest encouragement for you from Psalm 139 and why? What was the most powerful truth God taught you from Psalm 139 that gives you hope today? What was the most important truth you learned about God this week? What was your favorite quote, insight, or verse this week in your study?
Please comment.

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myPhotoWalk Devotional

… We saw Him with our own eyes and touched Him with our own hands.
1 John 1:1 NLT

myPhotoWalk Technical

  • Title: Seeing Jesus
  •     Order Custom myPhotoWalk Prints @ myPhotoWalk — SmugMug.com
  • Description: Watching the sun shine through storm clouds to cast light on Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte in Sedona, Arizona, USA.
  • Creator: Catherine Martin
  • Date Created: 05/10/13
  • Camera: Nikon D7000, Nikkor 18-105mm, FL 22mm, ISO 100, f/11, AEB.
  • Photoshoot: myPhotoWalk Photoshoot in Sedona, Arizona, USA.
  • Post-Processing: Photomatix Pro, Adobe Camera Raw, Adobe Photoshop, Nik Software.
  • Copyright ©2017 Catherine Martin — myPhotoWalk™ — Quiet Time Ministries. All Rights Reserved.
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What does a person do when the worst thing imaginable happens, their life is profoundly altered, and no hope is in sight? Catherine Martin cites numerous real-life accounts of people in crisis, and reveals their source of strength: the truth of God’s Word. A Heart That Hopes in God will take you deep into some of the choice Psalms of comfort, inspiring the kind of hope that will set your heart aflame with love for the Lord.
Patty Kennedy, National Women’s Department, Assemblies of God

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