A Heart That Hopes OLS — Week Three

When you are in trouble, your greatest natural resource is the ability to hope – holding on with patient expectation.

There are moments when the trouble just becomes overwhelming. You can almost feel as though you have no possibility of making it through. The stress is so great you just want to run away. You know the feeling. Despair and discouragement have taken the upper hand.

Here is where we need to learn secrets from David, the man after God’s own heart. We saw him in rare form in Week Three of A Heart That Hopes In God as we studied his words in Psalm 31. In this psalm we see that David was truly in distress and overcome by grief and sorrow. We don’t think of David as broken and weeping uncontrollably, but he was in this season of his life. David describes it this way, “My eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also” (Psalm 31:9). He had people around him who were not telling the truth and were trying to ruin him. And they seemed to prevail momentarily in David’s life. He felt ashamed, forgotten, afraid, and broken.

Do you know the pain of just such a valley in life? I have walked in this kind of valley and I know how impossible it seems to make it through the trouble.

David teaches us to cry out to God. Cast ourselves on Him and trust Him like never before. When we are drowning in our feelings, we need to start swimming in the fresh waters of the promises of God. David knew God’s character and God’s promises. And though he did not know what God would do or even how He would do it, he looked to God for everything he needed. He prayed —

But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD, I say, “You are my God.” My times are in Your hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me. Make Your face to shine upon Your servant; Save me in Your lovingkindness. Let me not be put to shame, O LORD, for I call upon You.
Psalm 31:14-17

David was a man of hope – holding on with patient expectation – even though he did not have the answers for his situation. He knew God had an answer and trusted God to carry him through. And so he hoped, truly holding on with patient expectation.

I remember the sultry summer day my husband and I hiked, two cameras and equipment dangling, through the slot canyons and rock formations of the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rock National Monument near Santa Fe, New Mexico. The views to the top were breathtaking, but the two hour steep grade was long and sometimes arduous, and I was becoming dehydrated. Finally, I stopped and sat down in some shade to catch my breath. It was then that I really appreciated this magnificent view of the volcanic tent rock formations, an incredible example of God’s great creation. After a few minutes, the exhilaration evaporated to concern. I realized that we were going to have to hike the long trail back in order to return to our car. Oh, my goodness. Where’s the shuttle, the limo, the easy path? I started to panic wondering how I would ever be able to do it. And then I told myself, “Catherine, take a deep breath. Stop wondering how you will do it. Just go one step at a time. Eventually you will get there.” And I was right. As a dear friend once said to me, “Inch by inch it’s a cinch. Yard by yard, it’s hard.” We walked the trail back, one step at a time, and I actually captured some of the day’s most beautiful photos along the way.

In life, we need to learn to hold on with patient expectation. Troubles can make us want to give up. David teaches us to pour out our heart and soul to the Lord and look to Him to help us and provide answers to our problems.

I love these words by Octavius Winslow —

Trial quickens us in prayer, and so effectually helps us heavenward. The life of God in the soul on earth is a life of communion of the soul with God in heaven. Oh what a sacred and precious privilege is this!
Octavius Winslow in Help Heavenward

And so, dear friend, if you find yourself in an impossible trouble right now, be encouraged by David to cry out to God and have hope, 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 4, Days 1-7, Hope When You Are Discouraged — Psalm 18. Please feel free to come back here throughout the week to read comments and respond. In our fourth week of study on hope we are going to live in Psalm 18 and discover encouraging promises for all who may be discouraged. 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 Four, you may also want to enjoy the companion Week Four message for A Heart That Hopes In God (Viewer Guide, pp121-122) — The Rescue Of The Lord – Digital M4V Video or The Rescue Of The Lord – Digital MP3 Audio. I will meet you back here with a new post and discussion question on Saturday, February 6, 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!


Sola Scriptura

How can you relate to David’s trial seen in Psalm 31? What was the greatest encouragement for you from Psalm 31 and why? What was your favorite prayer from Psalm 31? 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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… Put on the full armor of God.
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myPhotoWalk Technical

  • Title: Soldiers of Christ
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  • Description: Cone-shaped volcanic rock formations of Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico, USA.
  • Creator: Catherine Martin
  • Date Created: 07/11/15
  • Camera: Sony A6000, Sony 16-50mm, FL 16mm, ISO 100, f/11, 1/250sec.
  • Photoshoot: myPhotoWalk Photoshoot at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico, USA.
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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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