Lord, I cling to Your truth and believe Your promises.
With expectant hope I wait upon You.
Let me see the joy of Your salvation.
Focus of the Month: “Ordinary Women with Extraordinary Hope”
Have you ever heard the story of Anna? Despite the tragedies she experienced, she lived a life of expectant and sustaining hope. Her story is recorded in Luke 2:36-38:
Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the Child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.
Nothing quieted Anna’s voice of faith, her exclamations of hope, her prophecies of the King coming to rescue. She made her home in the temple, and remained there day and night. She devoted her life, her hope, her words, her service to God.
How could she, after enduring such hardships, live a life of hope, faith and trust in the Living God? A very young widow and childless, she never remarried and had no offspring. In any era, but especially in the one in which she lived, these are devastating circumstances. She could have chosen to be bitter and resentful toward God. But she clearly did not. Why?
Anna knew the scriptures. With expectant faith, she recognized God as Emmanuel, God with us. She believed the prophecies of the coming Christ, and so she served God in the temple, trusting He would fulfill His promises. Her sufficiency, security and provision did not come from man, but only came from the faithfulness of her God.
How about you and me? When trials arise, hardships come, loss is experienced, do we bunker down in the temple, worshiping God in prayer and fasting – believing God is faithful to fulfill His word in our lives? Do our words reflect the coming promise? Or do they repeat the tragedies, re-record the pain, and add to the uncertainty of the future? Do we look for and recognize the promise when it’s fulfilled? Or do we blindly run from one remedy to the next, never realizing the presence, power and answers of God?
Anna believed fully the promises of God. 2 Corinthians 1:20 says, “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” Christ has fulfilled the promises of God. The work is finished. Every promise of God is “Yes” and “Amen”! It is done!
As you face this new week, commit to focus on the goodness of God and His faithfulness. Like Anna, seek Him and serve Him in prayer in fasting – listening, watching, waiting… He will reveal Himself to you. God’s promises are Yes and Amen in Christ. Believe that you will see the joy of His salvation in your life. That is expectant hope. That is faith. Only believe. Then, like Anna, you shall see His glory.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Luke 2:36-38; 2 Corinthians 1:20; Romans 12:12; Psalm 51:12, 62:5; Luke 8:50