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Walking the Trail of Hope

Walking the Trail of Hope
His oath, His covenant, His blood,
support me in the o'er whelming flood,
when all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my HOPE and Stay.

When darkness veils His lovely Face,
I rest on His unchanging grace,
In every high and stormy gale,
my anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ the Solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

The words of this old song ring deeply into the soul. The glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ is our only HOPE. There is no HOPE in anything this world has to offer, only sinking sand.

But HOPE can be misdirected, as men seek comfort in other things. Food is a good example. If you're happy, head for the fridge, if you're sad, head for the fridge. Sometimes the world is smarter than God's people, for they call it "comfort food."

Why is it called comfort food? By what means will it comfort us? There is only one Comforter, and the Lord God knew that we would surely need a Comforter and a Helper long before we did. That's why God sent us the Comforter. For we have all been wounded by life, by people, those that love us and those that don't, by circumstances, by jobs or lack of the jobs that we want, even by parents; those that loved us and those that refused to love us. You name it -- we have all been wounded. So comfort and solace is sought for those wounds by escaping into food, movies, drugs, alcohol, illicit sex (pornography), much activity or no activity, withdrawal from people and life, TV, too much work, Nintendo and other games, pleasures of all sorts, jesting, money, things, possessions, noise, loud noise and loud music, to drown out the cry of the human spirit.

This is all misplaced HOPE, for it is seeking comfort where there is none.

When our wounds are raw and bleeding God wants us to turn directly into HIM. He wants us to run to our Hiding Place, our High Tower, our Balm of Gilead.

Proverbs 13:12: Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when desire cometh, it is a Tree of Life.

Romans 5:5: HOPE does not disappoint; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us.

If we are disappointed with any aspect of our life, the question must be asked: Where have I placed my HOPE? In money, job, wealth, possessions, husband, wife, not being married, losing weight, people, children, love and approval by others? Scripture declares that HOPE does not disappoint. The disappointment we feel is what will give us our clue as to where we have placed our HOPE. Crisis and suffering will also reveal it.

Also, goals are good. But they must be rooted in HOPE. HOPE in God -- not HOPE in a certain thing to happen for us. For instance as it applies to jobs, it is necessary that we do the legwork, make the calls, do the networking, fill out the resumes. Having done all that, we must then hand it over to the Lord for HIM to move upon the minds of those in authority to want us for that job.

If it does not happen, then we are not disappointed nor ashamed, for our HOPE was not in getting that job, but in God, and His working on our behalf.

HOPE deferred truly does make the heart sick. So let us examine carefully where our HOPE is placed.