Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Hopeless?

Joseph could have been the poster child for hopelessness. Rejected by family, sold into slavery, falsely accused, forgotten and left in prison. Yet, Joseph finds his hope in God. He hopes for a day when God will bring into focus all the blurry details of his life. His hope was not easy or perfect. Yet he seems to daily manages to put his hope in the Lord. In Joseph's story we discover that circumstances are never what they appear to be. Your and my circumstances are seldom what we conclude they are. There can be hope in the midst of hopeless circumstances. For God's child there is hope even in the darkest prison. In life, things seldom turn out the way you hope. But when things do not turn out, this does not mean there is no hope. We must make sure our hope is anchored in God and not what we expected.

There are some very dark moments in my life. In the darkness of the prison of my grief I cry out to God. What I find is that hopelessness is the birthplace of hope. Hope does not need perfect circumstances to exist. As a matter of fact, hope is born in the ugly, dirty and painful maternity ward of sorrow, grief and suffering. That is where the first cry of hope is heard at the sound of God's slap, hope grasp for air and hope begins to breath.

While Joseph was there in prison the Bible says in Genesis 39:21, "The Lord was with Joseph..." What exactly does this mean? Speaking of Joseph the Psalmist writes: "...and he sent a man before them - Joseph, sold as a slave. 18 They bruised his feet with shackles, his neck was put in irons, 19 till what he foretold came to pass, till the word of the LORD proved him true." (Psa. 105:17-19) The Hebrew word, translated neck in most translations is the word nefesh or soul. The iron shakels were around his neck but there was a deeper iron shakel on his soul. That is one of the most poinant descriptions of grief I have ever heard. It remained until what was foretold came to pass or until God's promise proved him true. This speaks of the purpose of his testing. God was doing something in Joseph through the painful circumstances of his life. Our hope is not found in perfect circumstances but in the ever present Lord who works all his plans together in and through our lives. (Romans 8:28)

My soul cries for freedom while my God cries for transformation. I feel like I am in a prison of grief. I want freedom. Yet His Spirit says, You might as well embrace what God allows to come your way, because He is transforming you. Iron shakels are on my soul but God is smelting them into iron for my soul. This powerful, painful transformation is the work of God and God alone.

Is. 40:31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Ed Litton

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have often said my time in Tucson was to learn about freedom and my time in Detroit is to learn obedience. Opposite sides of the same coin. I dare say I will be in Detroit longer than I was in Tucson. I am thankful when in Tucson I had a pastor who knew the wisdom and joy of obedience as he and his dear wife lovingly removed my shakels. I know the Lord did it, but you and Tammy were some of the hands and hearts He used.

I now cry for your freedom.

Margaret

Anonymous said...

I like the parts of your blog that read, "There can be hope in the midst of hopless circumstances"... and "hope does not need perfect circumstances to exist". That encourages me. I pray for those "dark moments" in your life...I'm sure there are many. I pray that God delivers you from the prison of grief ... all in His perfect timing. I claim Is. 40:31 with you and for you. Please know that your blogs are far reaching... touching lives. May God continue to heal your family and give you wisdom for each new day.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. God has used you to speak to me. I to cry freedom from dark circumstances and long for the transformation. However being honest, I also fear. I am continuing to pray for you and your family and will continue to.

Anonymous said...

That's really good. I never saw that before in ps 105.
Grief placed shackles on my soul.
It has struck my mind, will and emotions.It has left me feeling dejected and rejected much like Joseph.
Yet I have these promises that God has spoken to my heart. I have these dreams he has given me.I dont know how he's going to do it, cant imagine how it will take place but I know it will.
He's done it too many times before for me to not believe him now.
I suspect that God has given you dreams and promises about your future too.
And you can't possibly imagine how he could bring it all to pass-especially now-
I know.
...an anchor for the soul.We have this hope as an anchor for the soul,firm and secure.We have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us...That's how I have felt. I have fled to take hold of the hope offered me-it is an anchor for my soul.

Alisa said...

Your expression with words continues to amaze me. God has gifted you to put a pen to the supernatural ways He inspires you. Here, you point us to the way to hope, yet, in the mist of your own journey towards it. Wow.

Heather said...

I just wanted to let you know how encouraging this was for me. Unhappy in my circumstances, I felt so hopeless- completely helpless to improve my circumstance. This blog helped me realize that my dejection and hopelessness stemmed from the fact that I had forgotten God's sovereignty. I had placed my hope for happiness in my circumstances only to find that it did not satisfy, but now as I wait for my circumstances to pass, I place my hope in God and realize that this is only a piece of his plan for my life. How easy it is to forget that he has the masterplans- I don't have to know the way or understand the directions. All I must do is follow. I thank God for using you - This entry has completely transformed my perspective giving me new hope and peace.