but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.  Isaiah 40:31

Do you feel in control of your life?  Are you confronting each day confident that you will conquer every circumstance, or is the day conquering you?  For many, even those who display great confidence, life hits us sometimes with a force that knocks us off our feet.  Some of our circumstances are bad because of our own bad choices.  It is a bad day to pay two hundred dollars for the speeding ticket you received last week.  Some circumstances are unexpected and out of our control.  I remember the tears of the mother months after she lost her teenage son in a car accident on a random night.  Moments like these make the circumstances ahead unsure. 

I was talking with someone the other day, and we recounted some bad circumstances in our world today.  He asked me, “How do people make it through times like these without God?”  I replied, “Without hope.”  But the message of Isaiah 40 says we have hope in God!  God is great and promises great things to those who trust in Him.  In Isaiah 40:31 it says, “they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength.”  The phrase wait for the Lord is not like sitting in the waiting room of the dentist bored and unsure of what will happen next.  Instead, waiting for the Lord means to have hope, trust, and confidence in the Lord for what comes next.  Hoping in the Lord brings peace in the chaos, strength to move forward, and joy in the heartache. 

So, when we face bad circumstances (even the consequences of our own bad decisions) we should hope in God.  Jesus calls us to repent and believe in the Gospel, that is, turn from our bad decisions and trust in His lead in our lives (Mark 1:15).  When we repent, God forgives and strengthens us to walk in a new way (1 John 1:9). 

When we experience loss and grief from circumstances out of our control we should hope in God.  While the death of a family member, a housefire, or natural disaster are overwhelming God is our hope.  These experiences certainly shape our minds, hearts, and faith, but they do not steal our hope. 

When life’s future circumstances are unsure, we hope in God.  Jesus has promised eternal life to those who believe in Him (John 3:16), and abundant life to those who follow Him (John 10:10).  God’s Word never fails so His promises are sure. 

I am amazed at the greatness, faithfulness, and goodness of God.  He is Lord of all the earth, Everlasting Father.  He keeps His promises, and His promises are good. 

How are you responding to the circumstances in your life today? 
Is there any bad decision for which you need to ask Jesus’ forgiveness? 
Are you hoping (trusting with confidence) in the Lord through your most difficult circumstances? 

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