Saturday, August 30, 2008

from hopelessness to hope

There have been certain times in my life when I felt hopeless in overcoming a problem. I can't recall the exact nature of all such occasions, except to say that they were matters relating to the faith and my walk in it. Some had to do with the mind and ridding myself of either false or inadequate teaching, teaching perhaps undermining the truth as it is in Jesus. Other had to do with overcoming what was sinful in my heart. Of course there are many matters we face which threaten us in some way or another. Usually not in your face kind of stuff, often subversive, undermining our faith in God through Christ.

Recently I had become weakened in my hope of getting over a problem in me, and I just could see no way out. But I was reminded again that our hope is never in ourselves, but in God in Christ, and in the promises of God to us in Jesus. I always use "in Jesus", or "in Christ", because this is the one locus, or place in which we can be assured of God's salvation and blessing.

I finally thought it wise to simply pray to God and ask him to change it, to intervene, really to change me. I knew the needed change was not in me at all; I couldn't do it, myself. It was something God wanted me to recognize and acknowledge as wrong in me, not according to his will. I confessed it to God and asked him to change me. Well, I believe he is. It's a walk of faith and is taking time, involving a process of change. One that has some ups and downs, on an upward trajectory towards "the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3). But one in which I'm amazed at the working of God. And am called to work out this salvation with fear and trembling, knowing it is God himself at work in me, so that I can choose and do his good will, what pleases him (Philippians 2).

This is very encouraging to me. And I hope it might be encouraging to a reader out there, in need of hope in what seems hopeless in your life.

Anyone like to share anything on this from your own life?

4 comments:

NaNcY said...

beautiful

-bill said...

Just want you to know that I have been praying for you.

Philippians has always been a blessing to me. The section you mention helps me focus on high things rather than my things.

Still, I sometimes get stuck in stinking thinking. That's when I turn to Philippians 4:8. If what I am dwelling on isn't true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy, then I consider it something to be tossed in the waste bin.

Admittedly, this is much easiser said than done. It does give me a positive, productive mental exercise in which to engage that leads to more healthy thought processes. In a sense it is acting myself into a better way of thinking.

Well, this is turning into a post rather than a comment. Perhaps I'll write more about this on my blog soon.

God bless you, brother.

In Christ,
-bill

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, Nancy, and amen, in God in Christ it is!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Bill, Acting myself into a better way of thinking is a good way to put it. We have to learn, as I read recently, to not live by our impulses or instincts like unreasoning animals. Instead to go the way of God which he has revealed for us, and that takes a willingness to step by faith in directions that seem unnatural to us, since we're wrong ourselves. Or have wrong/sin.

And thanks for your prayers!