ANCHOR OF HOPE: My hope is in the Lord
For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth. By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother's bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee. I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge. Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day. Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth. (Psalm 71:5-9)
Hope modernly is defined as a desire with expectation of obtainment. The use of the word hope within this passage is equivalent to our modern use of the word trust. The psalmist, or song writer, gives us an insight to his heart and the total reliance he had on the Lord God. We will examine the trust that the psalmist wrote about and how it is needful for each of us in our lives.
First, we see the writer has had a trust in the Lord from his youth. If you are a young reader who happens to read this article, I can emphatically say based on the authority of the Bible there is no better way to spend your young energy and youthful years then to spend them wholeheartedly trusting in the Lord God. This trust in God’s ways will not always gain you popularity, nor will it always be easy; however, His way will always be perfect and right and brings a peace that passes all understanding.
Second, we see that the writer’s trust in the Lord God led him to proper praise. Our praise, an outward expression of an inward attitude to glorify someone or something, ought to be continually to the Lord God. No doubt the psalmist had experienced trials and tribulations in his life which seem to overwhelm or overtake him, but there to deliver him through those trials and tribulations was the Lord God. Through the deliverance the psalmist was able to build a deeper relationship in the Lord. As his relationship in God grew so did his trust. The closer he drew nigh unto the Lord God the more of His glory was revealed. When you begin to establish that kind of relationship with the Savior and His glory is revealed in you and through you naturally a believer’s reaction is praise. That praise is always proper.
Third, we see the request of an individual that has placed his lifetime trust in the Lord. This is not a wondering or a waiver in the faith of the writer; but rather, is an outward expression to the audience of his inward feelings of the future. He knows the promises of the Lord have never failed him in the past, and they will not fail for the future. The Lord has promised I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. Even though the psalmist understands there may come a day when his strength will affect his abilities he is assured the Lord will be him regardless of his strength to serve.
We all should place our wholehearted trust in the Lord as our hope. His hope is an anchor point for our lives in the midst of calm or troubled waters. Regardless of what stage you are in life or what the circumstances around you are may you be able to say the Lord God is MY HOPE.
In closing, I would like to make an unusual plea for prayer to all those Christians who read this article. The psalmist writes “By thee have I been holden up from the womb.” He is stating that even while he was not born and in the womb the Lord was sustaining him and his life. In Florida we murder, through abortion, over 200 unborn babies a day. These unborn children cannot plead for themselves, but we as Christians have the ability to plead and intercede on the behalf of these unborn children with the Lord that He would change the hearts of men and women to see the error of their way. It may be an unpopular message to stand against abortion, but one that through the authority of scripture we can believe with assurance is needed. The unborn need hope!
Tim Braddock is pastor of Emerald Coast Baptist Church in Destin and can be reached at Tbraddock@emeraldcoastbc.com.