A Heart That Hopes OLS — Week Six

Have you ever experienced a great trust in God in a dark hour in your life?

Or perhaps you were surprised at the truths about God that filled your heart and soul at such a time.

Or maybe, for a time, your dark hour just overwhelmed you. You seemed paralyzed spiritually, completely unable to make your way through the darkness.

V. Raymond Edman encourages us to “never doubt in the dark what God has shown us in the light.”

Psalm 91 has given us great hope and encouragement for dark hours this week in our study of A Heart That Hopes In God.

Promises about God — who He is, what He does, and what He says — will grow your hope during difficult days and strengthen you for a new and deeper trust in Him.

In Week Six in our study of A Heart That Hopes In God, Hope When You Are In Darkness, we saw that God is our refuge, fortress, shield, and protection. We can actually live and stay forever in His Presence. The profound truth for me this week was realizing that He is always present with us and will never leave or forsake us. No amount of darkness or trouble can distance us from God. Though you may feel that He is far away simply because you cannot see through the fog of your trial does not, in fact, change the truth about God — He will never leave you. He is faithful and worthy of our greatest love and trust.

The truths from God’s Word in our study will grow your trust as never before. No wonder the psalmist said, “I will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust'” (Psalm 91:2). Notice here that the psalmist’s trust is a resolve that he is stating by faith. You see, trust is not a feeling, it’s an objective choice based on what you know is true. And the reality of what you know is true by faith is found in God’s Word.

I love the promises in Psalm 91:14-16, especially how the Lord answers when we call upon Him, is with us in trouble, rescues us, honors us, satisfies us with long life, and lets us see His salvation. Think about all those promises and then call upon your Lord and lay out every request and difficulty, trusting Him for the answer and the rescue. I have many requests and amazing rescues written next to these verses where I have seen God at work in response to my prayers.

I loved these words of John Henry Jowett about those who are in the dark night of the soul. He says —

The dark places become the home of vision. They find their eyes in the night, and they penetrate the veil of the darkness and see the Lord.
John Henry Jowett in Life In The Heights

I believe the dark night of the soul challenges our faith in ways as can no other season of life. Our faith is put to the test. Will we open God’s Word, discover His promises, and then stand on them with our whole heart? When we choose trust in God and His Word, the dark place does indeed become the home of vision, we see as we have never seen before, and our hope grows. Our heart is filled with peace in the greatest of storms. These are things that can never be known without the wind, rain and darkness.

Sometime back, for Quiet Time Ministries, I was speaking on A Woman’s Heart That Dances at the Sandy Cove Christian Conference Center right on the northern tip of the spectacular Chesapeake Bay, near North East, Maryland. On this early Spring evening, I remember watching as the sun set quietly on the Chesapeake Bay. Then I noticed a woman sitting in a chair looking out at the sun as it shimmered on the water. I thought about how essential it is that we get alone with God, draw near to Him, and think about His glory and greatness. We need to learn to draw near to God in the darkness because being out in His creation is a source of strength in difficult times.

And so, So, dear friend, as you continue on in A Heart That Hopes In God, may the Lord give you countless promises to fill you with a new and greater hope — Holding On with Patient Expectation!

About Our Study

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Your Assignment

Your assignment this next week is to study Week 7, Days 1-7, Hope When You Need Help — Psalm 121. Please feel free to come back here throughout the week to read comments and respond. In our seventh week of study on hope we are going to live in Psalm 121 and discover encouraging promises for you when you are desperately in need of God’s help. 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 Seven, you may also want to enjoy the companion Week Seven message for A Heart That Hopes In God (Viewer Guide, pp147-148) — The Help of the Lord – Digital M4V Video or The Help of the Lord – Digital MP3 Audio. I will meet you back here with a new post and discussion question on Saturday, February 27, 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 is the most important truth you have learned in A Heart That Hopes In God so far? How is this study helping you hope in God? What has God shown you about Himself in dark times that helps you trust in Him? Why do you think God’s Word is so important in trusting in God and having hope? 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

… I have wandered away like a lost sheep; come and find me.
Psalm 119:176 NLT

myPhotoWalk Technical

  • Title: Drawing Near
  •     Order Custom myPhotoWalk Prints @ myPhotoWalk — SmugMug.com
  • Description: Watching a beautiful sunset at Sandy Cove Bay, North East River, Chesapeake Bay, North East, Maryland, USA.
  • Creator: Catherine Martin
  • Date Created: 03/17/12
  • Camera: Nikon D7000, Nikkor 18-105mm, FL 21mm, ISO 160, f/11, 1/250sec.
  • Photoshoot: myPhotoWalk Photoshoot at Sandy Cove Bay, North East River, Chesapeake Bay, North East, Maryland, USA.
  • Post-Processing: Adobe Camera Raw, Adobe Photoshop, Topaz Adjust, OnOne 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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