“You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety.”
Job 11:18 (NIV)
Many of you may recall that I ask God for a word for each new year. He gave me the word HOPE back in October 2014 for 2015. I learned something new about that word while reading From Dreams to Destiny, by Pastor Robert Morris.
I learned from Pastor Morris that the Bible is very clear that perseverance can only be learned through a trial. It is the only thing that produces perseverance in our lives. But wait, there’s more. Perseverance produces character. Character can only be built through perseverance. But wait, there’s more. Character produces HOPE. But wait, there’s one more. HOPE produces appointments, divine appointments.
Well, that definitely got my attention. It’s not a coincidence that within the past week, I have been seeing the word HOPE everywhere, in the most unusual places too. I opened a link on Facebook to view a house for sale, and on the counter of the bathroom was a plaque with the word HOPE in giant letters. Many of the random sightings of the word God gave me this year.
Then I learned that when trials come and build perseverance and character in my life, HOPE shows up! With the production of HOPE comes the blessing of divine appointments. What a giant hug from God.
I admitted before and I will admit again, I wasn’t too excited back in November when I had confirmed God was giving me the word HOPE for 2015. I had just read someone’s blog who was reviewing the different words God had given her over the years and she was admitting that some years were TOUGH – that the words she was given accurately portrayed the years where she could barely hang on because she was getting whipped from all sides. But then, God in His love, showed me through our pastor’s sermon in December 2014 that HOPE could be exciting. To have HOPE was a good thing, not something to fear.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that our trial started in January instead of December or February. I believe God allowed our year to begin with this adventure because I believe He knew it was time to begin building perseverance, character, and HOPE. Then our family would be ready to receive His divine appointment in my life (our lives as what happens to one family member happens to us all).
While the trial isn’t necessarily fun, God has given us continued reassurance (before it started, while it’s happening, and then promises of His blessings afterwards). I might say it’s becoming a little exciting (maybe). My job has always been to learn the lessons He wants to teach me but now I realize it’s more than that. I need to work on growing perseverance, character, and HOPE. Then I’ll be ready when God says, “It’s time” and He creates the atmosphere for the divine appointments. Do I know what they will look like? No. But until He tells me, I have an assignment to work on.
© Cheri Swalwell 2015