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Hope In God
DEAR PRISONERS OF HOPE,
As we move into the year 2007, God has promised His people many new victories, but oftentimes in the heat of battle we cannot see the Lord and His banner over us. Yet God will take us through to victory and lead us out of the mazes we face daily. We are not to build up a case either way but simply look to Jesus for guidance. Our troubles come when we try to control our lives and not let the Lord be the Master of every detail of them.
It is a privilege to be needy of God, and He will arrange our lives so that we will cry out to Him; but so many times our pride prevents us from seeking His counsel and we reach out to the arm of flesh, receiving no real help in the end. As we learn to refuse what our enemy, the devil, sends our way, and we eat of God's Word, we will be made strong. We must not resent or begrudge God's guidance nor be overwhelmed by our circumstances as we cry out for mercy. Remember, vengeance is God's; He will repay. Therefore, don't fill yourselves with bitterness or with hatred. Many a man has lost out with God when he attempted to avenge himself—which only causes bitterness—rather than let the sweetness of God's Spirit overshadow him.
God will cause us to triumph and prevail as we keep our hope in God. When you hope in circumstances or in mankind, you will be continually disappointed. Evil is transformed to good when it drives us to prayer.
“Oh Lord, be pleased to set free your prisoners of hope!” Beware of how you look upon yourself as cut off from life, and cut off from God's presence and His people. You are not cut off as you may think. In terms of this life you are only taken aside, that is, laid aside for a season, or it may be for life, but you are still part of the Body of Christ. Your feet may be limited because they once ran free and you are now in sorrow, but do not envy those who are now running free in this life. You have a work to do and God is waiting for you to fulfill it. Don't say one thing is God's work and the other is not important. If God gives it to you, it is important. What was Daniel doing in the lion's den? or the three that were thrown into the fiery furnace? They were glorifying God in suffering. Maybe God has called you to be a living martyr for His name’s sake.
Remember, God's dealings are good, His holy judgment is good and His afflictions are good because God is good.
If we try to answer the lies of others by our words, we may be beaten in the battle, but a holy life no one can dispute against. Those who mock us can be won over if we pursue the Lord and His righteousness. They will see your good works and glorify God if you truly let God have your life.
As we look to the Lord, we realize that the more we can think upon Him and the less upon ourselves, the better-off we are. Looking to Him, as He is seated upon the right hand of God at the throne of God, will keep our heads and especially our hearts steady when going through the deep waters of life.
Seek after peace, for anger is murder to oneself as well as towards others. You have to pursue peace and hunt after it with eager desire, for it is easy to lose and hard to retain but so well worth the effort.
Remember, the Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart, and that is acceptable and well pleasing to God (Psalm 51:17). It makes up for the many defects in your service and duties. It makes a suitable place for God to dwell in (Isaiah 57:15). It brings God near to men (Psalms 34:18). It will keep you open to Christ's healing (Ezekiel 34:16). Yes, it will put you on the right road to Heaven where all your wounds, hurts, and bruises will be cured (Rev. 22:2).
“Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee, Lord!” When the prisoner of hope looks through the bars of iron which night and day stand as guards before the narrow window of his cell, and his eyes see the freedom of others, he sighs and turns away. He spoke not a word, yet he wished, and that sigh was a wish that he could be set free. These sighs are heard by God. Your longings, your sorrows and sad thoughts are not ignored by God; but for God to answer you, He must first hear from you, and He is well able to bring you up from the depths of despair.
So, take heart, you prisoners of hope, and look to Jesus the Christ and know that He has overcome the world. He has already won the victory by His sacrifice. As we ask God to deliver us and purge away our sins for His name’s sake, He will show us our sins which are the root of evil, and the pardon and the forgiveness will be given freely. Believers will find this wisdom in their pleas to God. It is a great gun of the battle of life, a mighty weapon in the armory of prayer.
Remember, His banner over us is love to those who fear and worship the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Amen.
—Captain Kindness River
[Study material for this article has been adapted from its original sources.]
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