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Sustaining Hope

“God, You are my God; I eagerly seek You.
I thirst for You; my body faints for You
in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water.”
Psalm 63:1 (HCSB)

Series Focus: “Rising From the Valley”

Memories. They carry us back in time and trigger a spectrum of emotions. They bring comfort as stories unravel; spread joy as lives intertwine; and teach lessons as truths unfold. Connecting with others in stories of our past secures us in our present and ignites purpose for our future.

We often share memories as we gather with family and friends to celebrate birthdays and holidays. We take pictures and journal our adventures. In times of struggle, we pull on past experiences to encourage others who are fighting a similar battle. Even in the hardest times of loss, we gather together and share precious memories and create lifelong storyboards or video presentations.

Why? Because there is purpose in each life—in every struggle, in every victory, in every story! And when that story is told, we find comfort in the memories and we find hope to sustain us in our own journeys.

Revelation 12:11 says that the people overcame the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. Jesus overcame sin and death and the grave for us. We are victorious in Him, because of Him, as we believe in Him. Scripture tells us that all who call upon Jesus shall be saved. As we walk with Jesus in righteousness and salvation, we develop a story to tell.

A testimony is a statement, evidence, a declaration, a factual story. Whether in valley or mountaintop experiences, our stories should point to Jesus. He alone is our hope, our comfort, our help, and our victory.

In Psalm 63:3-5, David says:

My lips will glorify You because Your faithful love is better than life. So I will praise You as long as I live; at Your name, I will lift up my hands. You satisfy me as with rich food; my mouth will praise You with joyful lips.

When David wrote this Psalm, his son Absolom was chasing him, seeking to kill him. I don’t know about you, but if I was running for my life, would my words be those that David penned? I can only hope…

We see in Psalm 63:6-8 that David visits his memories with God, reviews his testimonies of God, and therefore sustains himself with hope because he trusts God:

When I think of You as I lie on my bed, I meditate on You during the night watches because You are my helper; I will rejoice in the shadow of Your wings. I follow close to You; Your right hand holds on to me.

David provides a beautiful example of focusing on the solution, not the problem, as he recalls the faithfulness of God from past experiences. He had invested in his relationship with God, enjoyed God’s presence and power throughout his lifetime, and offered praise to God in so many valley experiences. These memories of God’s faithfulness strengthened David’s confidence and fueled his faith.

Maybe you are just building those memories with God. Maybe you never considered the experiences you’ve had with Him in prayer, worship, study, and life circumstances to be “memories.” But that’s exactly what they are, my friend. As we walk with Jesus, we build our testimonies. And these testimonies, when remembered and shared, help sustain us with hope in Him as we rise from our valley experiences.

Holding Fast to Hope,

Reflection: Do you journal your experiences with God? Your struggles, victories, questions, hopes, desires, prayers? If you do, turn back and revisit past entries. Then write about one experience when you’ve seen God’s faithfulness. If you do not journal your walk with God, pick out a journal and start today. Find a scripture that speaks to a recent struggle you are enduring. Write the scripture in your journal entry; share a bit of your experience; write a prayer; and then pray the prayer out loud to God. Repeat daily or weekly. Don’t forget to turn back through the pages to visit these memories with your Maker. Sustain your Hope and Fuel your Faith.

Scripture References: Psalm 63; Revelation 12:11; Romans 10:13; 1 Corinthians 15:55-57


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