Meditations From the Heart
10/4/13 at 11:41 PM 0 Comments

Hope In God

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Hope is for the present. Is your hope in someone or in something? Where lies your hope?

The shutdown of the US Federal Government has placed uncertainty in many people lives. Many wonder how long this shutdown will last. The longer the shutdown continues, the more people will become frustrated and angry. The Shutdown not only affects the Federal Government employees, it also affects many people from most - if not all - segments of society. What is your hope? Where lies your hope?

Misplaced hope can lead us to despondency, depression and desperation. Let us look at a woman by the name of Naomi. We can find her story in the Old Testament of the Bible, in the book of Ruth. (Ruth chapter 1) Naomi had a husband and two (2) sons. They lived in the landof Judah. The landof Judahhad a famine, and her husband took her and their sons and relocated to the landof Moab. Sometime after their move, her husband died. Her two sons married two lovely girls. After ten years, her sons died. Naomi was devastated.

Naomi had hope for a bright future in Moab - living a prosperous and a happy life with her husband. Her husband died. Yet she had hope in her sons and daughters-in-law even expectations of grandchildren most likely. She had hope in the economy of Moab. Then her sons died. Now all was lost.

Naomi had lost her hope - the hope she had in her circumstances, her hope in the country of Moab. Her hopes were misplaced. She became despondent and depressed. Naomi heard the famine was over in Judah. She decided to return to her homeland and wanted no part of her past in Moab. Her daughters-in law were willing to go with her to Judah, but she discouraged them. Naomi saw no worth in herself. As far as she was concern she had nothing to offer these women. Naomi saw herself as - too old to have another husband, too unattractive. (v12) She makes the argument to her daughters-in-law that even if she had hope (which she clearly didn't) and had married a husband immediately. Were they willing to wait until her sons became men to marry them? One daughter-in-law agreed with the argument and returned to Moab.

In her desperation Naomi blames God.(v13) She said, " the hand of the Lord has gone out against me." In verse 20 Naomi said, "the Lord has dealt bitterly with me." In verse 21 she said, "the Almighty has afflicted me". In reality Naomi was bitter against God. She felt it was God's fault that she had lost her husband and her sons. In verse 15 she encouraged Ruth, the other daughter-in-law to go back to her gods. In other words she was saying, look at my life, you are better off in Moab. Naomi returned to Judah and Ruth accompanied her.

Even though all of the city of Bethlehem turned out to see Naomi and excitedly welcomed her back. She was not impressed. Depression robs us of the moment. Depression robs us of excitement and enthusiasm in our lives.

Where lies your hope? Is your hope residing in yourself, or in your family, friends, elected officials or in your country?

Hope in God!!!Psalms 42:5 and 11 says it best.

Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.

If Naomi's hope was in God, the above response would have been hers. She would have encouraged her other daughter in law to have a new life in Judah instead of discouraging her.

Thankfully Ruth who had accompanied Naomi to Judah - Chapter 2 - was not affected negatively by her mother-in-law's depression. Instead Ruth embraced her mother-in-law. Ruth's love for her mother-in-law and her enthusiasm as well as that of the women of the city rallying around Naomi (chapter 4) helped Naomi overcome her depression and despair. Her misplaced hope ended.

Where lies your hope? Hope in God. He cares for you.

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