We’ve all experienced a hope that was unfulfilled. Waiting is never easy. Hope begins to wane as we realize our hopes will not be realized. But for some people, unrealized hopes have become a wound and a prison that keeps them from hoping in God. The worst kind of pain comes from being afraid to hope in God because He seems to have disappointed us in the past.
Dr. Gregory L. Jantz wants to speak to those who have been wounded by hope and feel they can no longer trust God. His book, Gotta Have It!: Freedom from Wanting Everything Right Here, Right Now, deals with our excessities—the things, even necessities like food, that we turn to in excess (excess + necessities = excessities) to help us cope with the various voids in our lives. One of these voids people can try to fill is the loss of hope.
If that’s you, check out the message Dr. Jantz has for you.
Prisoners of Hope
I want to speak to those who have been wounded by hope. Maybe you have hoped desperately for something that didn’t come. Maybe you hoped that God would provide something or remove something or enable something that didn’t take place. You are wounded, and the easy promises of an excessity seem so much more compelling than a God you think has stopped caring about you. You have been battered and bruised by life and circumstances and feel abandoned by others and by God.
To you I would say that no matter what has happened, God is still your refuge. Don’t give up on Him because what you so desperately wanted didn’t happen. The loss of what you wanted does not mean a loss of His love. A “no” to your plea is not the same as “I don’t love you.” The hope for what you wanted to happen may have died, but your hope and faith in God’s love don’t need to die along with it. While God may have said no to what you asked for, He will never say no to you.
In the book of Lamentations, the prophet Jeremiah was told a very big “no” by God. No, God would not step back from the destruction coming to Jerusalem and Judah. After coming to grips with this reality, Jeremiah wrote: “So I say, ‘My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the Lord.’ I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail” (2:18-22). As with Jeremiah, your hope for something may be gone, but hope itself still lives on because of how much God loves you.
Listen to this God who loves you, your Father in heaven, who has always planned for your hope in Him to be fulfilled: “Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you” (Zech. 9:12). If you are a prisoner of hope because of some trauma, tragedy, disappointment, or defeat, return to God, your fortress. Your excessities cannot protect you from the pain. Only God can comfort you and restore your hope through His unfailing love.
–Gregory L. Jantz, Gotta Have It!, quote from Chapter 12: God Provides Hope.
I’ll admit I was touched by this passage. It struck something deep within me that resonated as a truth I needed to hear. Let’s talk about hope in the comments section today.
Is hope difficult for you because of disappointments in the past? Or are you confident in the hope you place in God, even if your hopes go unfulfilled? Also, if you have ever felt disappointed by God, tell us how you got over it.
Gotta Have It!: Freedom from Wanting Everything Right Here, Right Now is available from Amazon for Kindle or from Christianbook.com for ePub. Read my review of Gotta Have It!
|Gotta Have It! – eBook
By Gregg Jantz with Ann McMurray / David C. Cook
This post is part of the Virtual Book Fair: Christian Authors A to Z. See the list of other authors featured in the Virtual Book Fair.