Monday, April 16, 2012

hope, it's what the soul needs

I wanted to share with you this wonderful post from the Desiring God blog, If You Feel Overwhelmed, Eat!
Contrary to what the title might lead you to think, the writer, (Jon Bloom) takes you through the first part of Psalm 43,

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? 
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, 
my salvation and my God. (Psalm 43:5)
 I really encourage you to read the entire post but here are my favorite bits,

"Hope is to our soul what energy is to our body. 
Hope is the spiritual energy generated in the soul when we believe that our future will be good, even if our present is bad. 
Our souls must have hope to keep going just like our bodies must have energy to keep going...
Hope is something we only feel about the future, whether it’s ten minutes or ten thousand years from now.
We’re never hopeful about the past. We can be grateful for the past. The past can inspire or even guarantee a hopeful future for us. But all the wonderful things that have happened to us in the past will not fuel our hope if our future looks bleak.
We must have hope for the future to keep going.
That's precisely why the Bible is a book of “precious and very great promises” (2 Peter 1:4). Man was not designed to “live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). So God designed the Bible to be a storehouse of nourishing soul food for his saints...
When our soul is in turmoil, God does not want us to be passive. We must pray, yes. But sometimes we need to stop praying. We need to stop listening to our soul recite its fears. Then is when it's time to preach to our soul.
Fear is an indicator that our soul is hungry for hope.
And the only foods that will really nourish and sustain the soul are God’s promises."

We are such a forgetful people (or is this just me?)! I was so encouraged to remind myself of these truths the next time I am in over my head. What indeed do I have to fear/dread/be disappointed about in this life? Why should I fret over things that seem to go wrong? 
Probably my favorite book in the Bible is 2 Corinthians (as you already know); it's the one I frequent the most and could continually reread. If you're not as familiar with it, I encourage you to read through this book. I love Paul's words, encouraging the Believer to press on through tribulation and trials, always focusing on the eternal, "unseen" things that are only evident to the Believer. In addition to thriving on these sorts of topics, I think it's healthy to have a craving for further knowledge of truths like hope. Close to the early part of last year, I was going through some difficult times, and through my daily readings, Psalm 34 became very near and dear to my soul; after reading the post mentioned above, I was reminded of these passages dealing with hope and our soul...

    I will bless the LORD at all times;
        his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
    My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
        let the humble hear and be glad.
    Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
        and let us exalt his name together!

    I sought the LORD, and he answered me
        and delivered me from all my fears.
    Those who look to him are radiant,
        and their faces shall never be ashamed.
    This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him
        and saved him out of all his troubles.
(Psalm 34:1-6 ESV)

Yes, the photo was taken during our last few days in Dubai; yes, we miss the wonderful people there dreadfully, yes, we'd still love to go back, 
but no, we haven't tried applying the henna on our arms yet.


Kyleigh said...

This reminds me a lot of a book by Mr. Piper called "Future Grace." I read it recently and it was very good.

Noel said...

Elena, I was so blessed by the three of you this past week and so refreshed. You have all become such godly young women, and I look forward to reading more here.


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