Janet Smith – 6-7-17 ©gardenministries.org
Romans 5:5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.
Somewhere along the way, I had lost hope! I could better grasp the importance of faith and love but hope seemed more conceptual. I noticed that some bitterness had creeped into my heart and was creating problems toward God and my loved ones. I struggled for a while to overcome the bitterness but could not seem to get to the root of it until finally, it became clear through a prophetic word from a brother in Christ.
I had been (and am still in) a very long season of enduring and waiting for God to fulfill His confirmed word in some significant areas of life. I knew the words to be true and had not lost faith in them, but somewhere in my process of enduring, and the many disappointments that come through broken or lost relationships, I had lost HOPE. And the loss of HOPE doesn’t fall into neutral territory. When I lost hope, cynicism and criticism replaced it. Cynicism and criticism are fruits of bitterness and come from and feed on a spirit of rejection. This sense of feeling unwanted and rejected had replaced some of my ability to feel loved and accepted by God and by others and was creating blinders of self-protection based in fear and pride.
A prophetic Voice came to our town and prophesied the word of the Lord over me, reminding me of the truth of God’s call to me—that I was called as a vessel of God’s 1 Corinthians 13 FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE and was called to be poured out to others as such. This is a truth of my life that I had lost touch with and it broke me to hear it again. I could see my wounds of rejection and loss of hope—that God’s love would be poured into and out of my heart on the level I so desperately needed and wanted for myself and for others.
Without this hope, I had become cynical. I could see how my cynical heart had become prone to criticism—pointing out what’s wrong and trying to fix that instead of pointing out what’s right and believing that! This kind of “fixing” is from a religious spirit of control. In this vein, it’s easier to see “what’s wrong” than it is to see “what’s right.” And focusing on fixing darkness doesn’t work. It is a personally subjective perception and is based in performance-based striving instead of being born from the conviction of the Holy Spirit of Truth that bears Life and Hope in the vessel.
I repented and purposed to fix my gaze directly upon Jesus [again], seeking His Truth about myself and others—especially when we are not believing it very well—as the way toward freedom and breakthrough. Like this prophetic man modeled for me, I can better see and call out the truth of God about others—and stop getting distracted by or fixated on the lies and the bad behavior that believing the lies is creating!
Psalm 119:116 Sustain me according to Your word, that I may live; And do not let me be ashamed of my hope.
Hebrews 6:18…so that we who have found refuge in [Jesus] may find strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us through two unchangeable things, since it is impossible for God to lie.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see.
Psalm 27:13-14 Where would I be if I did not believe I would experience the LORD’s favor in the land of the living? Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.