Welcome to week 4 of the Hope for Hurting Hearts series! Remember how we discussed the word “hope” in Scripture typically means our English word-“expectation?” Our expectation, or hope, should always come from the Lord. How do we know we can trust Him? Because of His unfailing love for us!
The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. Psalm 147:11
For so many years, I read the Bible and prayed as an item checked off the to-do list. Can you relate? I really performed my “religious duty”… not recognizing the God of heaven wanted to do more than give me a hope for the future.
He wanted to heal my past.
He wanted His Word to be the healing balm that would restore my soul.
God desires a personal relationship with me- not a religious experience.
I simply checked in and out like clockwork, fulfilling the ceremony, performing the ritual of daily Bible reading and prayer time. And then when tragedy after tragedy struck my life, I begged God to tell me what He wanted from me. I poured out my heart and left no tears unshed. When making my soul bare before Him, I discovered that is exactly what He was requesting.
An open heart. Bareness. A willingness to listen for His voice…
and then His Word caressed my wounded soul as the healing balm of Gilead.
The oil of gladness replaced my bitterness and His strength became my strength.
In my ebook, The Sensational Scent of Prayer, I describe how Hannah’s desperate desire for a child had broken her heart. Completely spent, the Bible tells us that she poured out her soul before the Lord.
Imagine a pitcher of water completely full of water. I think most of us pray “small” prayers, a little here, a little there. We pour out a tiny sip at a time, seeking strength and renewal. But our pitcher still has water in it. We fear pouring out our soul because then, we believe we will be empty. The truth is:
Without that emptying, we can never be filled with Him.
What is it that needs to be emptied so that your heart can be filled with the hope of Christ and His love?