Bits by Beth is a Bible devotional section. Beth’s writing career began as a Bible devotional writer for newsletters. She wrote for over 4 years for The Christian Crusader newsletter.

Fanning the Flames of Hope
By Beth McLendon

"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13 NKJV

One day a Christian friend called me and said, "I can’t deal with this woman at work. She is just awful, and she’s been there for eighteen years. The boss really likes her. She’s never going to leave!"

My friend described her hopeless situation in great detail. I knew I needed to redirect her attention toward the power of God. Therefore, I tried to suggest that God might intervene. However, I could not get my sentence finished before she said, "No, nothing is ever going to change."

Hope or Hopelessness – God says choose hope. Psalm 50:15 NKJV says, "Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me." God is saying that he wants us to wait expectantly for him to rescue us from difficult circumstances. God calls us to fan the flames of hope. Instead, we often smother the flames of hope.

One month later, God rescued my friend from her co-worker. The difficult woman took a job with another company. So the situation that was labeled hopeless – in truth was not too difficult for God. However, instead of waiting with expectancy, my friend was surprised by the news.

What advantage do Christians have if they wait expectantly instead of living in hopelessness? One advantage is that keeping hope alive results in extra blessings. The Bible tells us that in Psalm 146:5 and Jeremiah 17:7. Even common sense tells us that waiting for something good produces good fruit. We become happy, optimistic, confident, full of faith and full of cheer. Smothering hope leads to hopelessness, discouragement, despair, dejection, dismay, and depression.

Another reason to keep hope alive is because hopelessness taints your witness for Christ. How can we expect to influence others to trust in God, when we ourselves do not? When we have hope, we are shining the light of Jesus in us. Moreover, the world is generally stunned to see and hear someone who has hope. Having hope is not natural. The world will be curious. God wants to use the hope within us to draw people to himself. 1 Peter 3:15 KJV states, "Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear."

If you exhibit hope, people will notice and be curious!

When difficult times come, I have decided that I will make the choice to fan the flames of hope!

See also: Proverbs 30:5 KJV

By Beth McLendon All Rights Reserved.