Dare to Hope
Wendy Pope

"Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this." Lamentations 3:21 (NLT)

Have you ever cried until the tears would no longer come and your heart was broken in tiny pieces? Have you ever uttered, "Everything I hope for from the Lord is lost?" Then you, me and Jeremiah make three.

I won't ever forget those long nights of crying myself to sleep. Some nights only silent tears would fall; other nights loud wails accompanied questions and prayers. "Why Lord? What am I doing wrong? Why won't you just fix his problems?" The prayers would end with "if it is Your will," hoping that His will was different that what it appeared to be.

On these nights I would curl up in a ball under my covers, face the wall and hope this time there would be a break-through in my prayers. Many nights, as I cried myself to sleep, I believed everything I had hoped for was lost and the situation was hopeless.

Jeremiah, also known as the weeping prophet, found himself in a hopeless situation as he watched the Temple of the Lord being burned to the ground by the Babylonians. His heart broke. The elements of the Temple such as the water basin and lamp snuffers were stolen, taken to Babylon to be used to worship false gods.

Jeremiah prophesied God's words to the people of Judah and Jerusalem. The Lord's immediate future for His people was one of discipline and the utter destruction of Jerusalem as well as His holy Temple. Jeremiah was chosen by God to deliver these words to His people. He did his job and did it well, but not without punishment, ridicule, insults, and imprisonment.

Jeremiah cried until no more tears would come (Lamentations 2:11, NLT). His heart was broken for Jerusalem and for God's people, his people. In anguish he lamented the words, "Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost" (Lamentations 3:18, NLT).

Then, out of the midst of his despair, he dared. He dared to hope in what he remembered.

Many of us know someone who needs hope; perhaps we ourselves need hope, therefore it would serve us well today to know what Jeremiah remembered. What he remembered as he lamented gave him the courage to dare to hope again. The remembrance changed his perspective on his present situation. Jeremiah dared to hope and so can we, regardless of our circumstances. In reading Lamentations 3:21-24 you can hear the expression in Jeremiah's "voice" change from that of lament to that of optimism. In your mind's eye you can picture his facial features transforming. What Jeremiah remembered was the key to elevating him from the pit of despair to a place of expectancy. It is our key as well. Jeremiah remembered this about his covenant Lord:

• His unfailing love for him
• His new mercies meant for him
• His never ending faithfulness toward him
• His inheritance due him

God's Word is alive and active. It is designed to transform us from the inside out. Reading and applying its truths will change the expression in our voice and redirect our perspective for the future. During my desperate nights I longed for my circumstances to be different. I cried until the tears would no longer come. Many times I tarried in the pit of despair much longer than necessary. But when I remembered God's faithfulness and mercies to me, my expression changed.

Did the circumstances surrounding my sorrows change because I remembered? No. What changed was my outlook. Hope means to wait with expectation, and this is what I chose to do during those hard nights.

Are you in need of hope today? Will you choose to remember His faithfulness, love, and mercy despite the despair and destruction around you? Will you dare to hope?

Dear Lord, I want to dare to hope but life around me seems uncertain and tentative. Will You help me dare to hope? Will You help me remember Your faithfulness, love and mercy? Thank You advance for what You are going to do. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

What to do in the W.A.I.T: Finding Contentment in God’s Pauses and Plans (CD) by Wendy Pope

Visit Wendy’s blog to read her story

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan

His Princess, Love Letters from Your King by Sheri Rose Shepherd
When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, you touch eternity because your purchase supports the many areas of hope-giving ministry we provide at no cost. We wish we could, but we simply can't compete with prices offered by huge online warehouses. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. Thank you! ________________________________________

Application Steps:
Read Lamentations 3:21-24 aloud. Remember and write down God's expressions of faithfulness, mercy, and love to you. Dare to hope.

Forward today's devotions to someone who needs hope.

What is my biggest stumbling block that keeps me from daring to hope?
What is an area of my life in which I need to dare to hope?

Power Verses:
Psalm 33:18, "But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love." (NIV)

© 2010 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.

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Awesome post for someone who was in need of some hope! I had just read Lamentations not too long ago, but I needed to be reminded of Jeremiah's turn. THank you for revealing what God put on your heart!

Blogger Unknown said...

wow ... I woke up in the middle of the night, seized with anxiety, knowing it is the enemy, but fighting it still ... wondering when the Lord will deliver us from this place we are in. He has been so faithful with small miracles ... but we are still in the midst of big challenges. I know, logically, that He is in control. I know that it is Satan trying to make me give up. But still, I felt so beaten down.

I was just about to get my children up for school, but had this voice saying, no, go to facebook ... and I thought, facebook? I need to be responsible and get my children up ... But right there was your post ... and it was just what I needed to read. I had read John 10, and had prayed, and cried out to God ... but still had not felt the peace that only He brings ... so glad that I listened to that voice. It just brought me peace and cleared my head, freeing it from the worry to grab onto praise and hope again. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous allison morrison said...

Thank you for your words of hope! We all need a reminder about the love and faithfulness of our God! He will never forget us--we just need to reach up and grab hold of his outstretched hands and HOLD ON!

Blogger Unknown said...

Right now, my life is taking a very slow U turn.... I am going through a divorce! I have been cheated, verbally abused,rejected and I am still wounded... I thougt we could keep our marriage together until I discovered that I was the only one trying to keep it together... I had no support WHAT'S SO EVER!!!

However, these words of encouragement have just uplifted me from my sorrow. I must say, that I totally even forgot that this verse existed... Even know it's one of my favorite verses. Keep me in prayer because I need it more than ever these days.

Thanks for reminding me of my God's love and mercy!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We forget to hope so many times, because we have a tendacy to put our Awesome God into a small box and than He can't possible accomplish that.

Blogger Unknown said...

Many thanks wendy. You got me started on reading the book of Jeremiah. Am so grateful

Anonymous EM said...

Literally yesterday I felt God nudging me to "dare to hope," pointing me to grow in hope, as my next step in healing. Thank you for affirming that hope isn't a bandaid for troubled times, but is a crutch, a foundation, a reason to keep going. :) God bless you, and all the women here needing hope today.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome post. My friend and I were discussing how our church is not thriving as it should and how we need the lord. We both agreed we would not loose hope. To read your post today is a confirmation that we must keep our focus on the lord. Be blessed! Rosie in tx

Blogger Dana said...

2 weeks ago I received the news that my newborn son was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Your post could not have come at a better time, thank you for allowing God's Word to change your heart and outlook and so change mine!

Anonymous Amy said...

I love your definition of hope -to wait without expectation. It really is fitting. So many times I've lost hope because my expectations weren't met but if I look back God has always provided something much greater than what I'd wanted.

Blogger Leslie Wolbert said...

Blessed in remembrance of His faithfulness in the midst of uncertainty and brokenness.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Daring to hope that God will heal my marriage that appears to be hopeless...Thank you for reminding me that I can dare to HOPE in Christ.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

this post has totally confirmed on wat ave been pondering in for some changed my thinking.This month of october i decided to dare to hope not saying maybe it will come to pass becos if the same God of yesterday did those awesome miracles of which i am a witness to that same God will do it again and again,for great is his faithfulness unto to me cos morning by morning i just see new mercies.i dare to hope for my miracle this month.

Blogger T-Reese said...

This is so on time for me. I must admit, I have lost hope in a few things, especially in my marriage. And I don't have much faith anymore. I know that God can change my situation and make these dry bones live again BUT will it happen is my question? Waiting, crying, praying... it all can get pretty tiring in the end. Please pray for me. And again, thank you for this word, I did need to see and read it.

Be blessed.

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