We have each had the feeling at one point or another. This feeling is one deep down in our heart of obtaining success, joy, fulfillment and pleasure from what we seek, do and believe in. It comes and goes, at times stronger than others. The things we pursue and place priority on in life reveal much about us. What we stake our hope for joy to says much of the soul’s longing.
Where do you seek your hope for joy? I can think of many things I have staked my hope for joy to in the past: athletics, work & business success, relationships, affirmation from others, the Church I attend, where I live, personal knowledge, acts of service, being a good spouse, father, friend… the list could go on.
When we stake our hope for joy to the temporal things of this world we acquiesce we relinquish control and give these things [many of them good and noble things] power over us. And sadly, these things are by themselves unable to satisfy the longing for fullness, life, restoration, joy and hope. It appears within grasp and as we strive towards these temporal things, the fulfillment we sought them for vanishes.
Many in the current age and current presidential election season, are placing their hope for joy in who they desire to be their President. Most are either highly optimistic or pessimistic depending on their political leanings. Some are ecstatic beyond words that their candidate won; others are crestfallen and devastated that their candidate was defeated.
Do you feel that inside of yourself? That ‘feeling’ or longing arising in light of the presidential election for things to be made right, for our country to be led wisely, for responsibility, justice and honor?? We all desire and long for a Good President, a Good King… [This feeling you have is a clue of something much bigger about you, keep reading]
But my friends, I must say we will all be disappointed and let down, regardless of your political affiliation.
Anything of this world that we take our hope for joy and life to will sadly fail us. Your job, your friends, your President, your clients, your own family, leaders you respect… What we must see is that this longing was placed in our hearts by our Creator God. He literally place eternity in our hearts [Ecclesiastes 3:11-14]. God placed the desire for wholeness, life, joy and restoration inside us just like He gave you the color of your eyes and hair. What we need to come to realize is that through the things of this world- be it our relationships, the places we travel, our dreams and goals, our vision for our country and it’s leadership, those fun things we enjoy doing, is what it exposes:
These things expose a holy longing for the Kingdom of God
The beautiful restorative truth here is that we will get what we long for. When God made you he gave you a Kingdom Heart not an Earthly Heart; and this is why the broken world cannot quench your heart’s deep longing. Isn’t that a relief to know? We will get a faithful and true King to shepherd us and provide all joy, restoration and life we so desire. But He is not of this world, nor will He ever be on any man-made ballot.
His ballot is your heart.
His name is Jesus of Nazarene, the Christ
He is the one King that deep down all people of all nations, for all time have sought and longed for, many not even knowing His Name.
If you have never known a specific point in time during you life when you voted for Jesus as your King and asked Him to be Lord over your heart and life, now is that time. The King awaits.
For those of us who have secured our faith in Christ, a question to ponder- What temporal, worldly things am I placing my hope for joy and life in? It’s time to yield those to Jesus.
Set your hope FULLY on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:13
May the God of HOPE fill you with all Joy and Peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with Hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
A friend recently asked me, “How often do you pray for Jesus to return as King, for His 2nd Coming?” I must admit not as often as I should. We would be wise to pray & ask Jesus regularly to come back. He is after all the one true King we long for deep down; and King Jesus has chosen you and I to reign with Him upon His return [Romans 5]
Come King Jesus and Restore Your Rule. We delcare your return as you have promised to us in Revelation 19:11-21. We place ALL of our hope and longing in You.
Contrite: (from the Latin contritus ‘ground to pieces’, i.e. crushed by guilt) is sincere and complete remorse (i.e. regret with a sense of guilt) for sins one has committed. The remorseful person is said to be contrite. shameful. [Wikipedia]
All of us have at one time or another found ourselves with a contrite heart and spirit; remorseful, down and out, feelings of loss, shame and no identity in who we are or what we should do. It is in these dark times of the valley, that we lose connectedness from the Father- we can’t here or discern His voice, nor move within our giftedness or offer our strength as we could before.
To use Jesus’ example- we as the branch feel absolutely broken off from the vine that gives us our food and life. All seems lost. Death seems certain. The Father seems distant and not concerned about this bad place I am in. The assault of the evil one is on a full speed offensive to have us question the heart of God. To question his Goodness. To doubt his intentions for us as sons and daughters of the King. Just as the enemy did with Eve in the garden- question the Father’s goodness and integrity.
When all lines of communication with the Father and Spirit seem broken, when we are struggling to keep our head above water with our finances, family, relationships, ministry, work…. and the enemy is pouncing on us… what do we do? We must persevere, but how?
The Bible is the Written Word of God.
Jesus is the Living Word of God.
The Holy Spirit is the Spoken Word of God.
In times of great battle when our hearts and lives are overcome with a contrite spirit, let us lean upon God’s word to remind us what He has already said about this matter. In His written Word we find rest, the peace of Jesus.
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them ALL. [NKJ]
The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant [contrite] heart, O God. [NLT]
I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice. [MSG]
Isaiah 57:15 I dwell in the High and Holy Place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. [NKJ]
And in the Message version of Isaiah 57:15 it adds, “…And what I do is put a new spirit in them, get them up and on their feet again.”
Isaiah 66:2 But on this one will I look on [bless]: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word. [ESV]
Unbelievable. Here is what the Bible says God’s response is to the contrite heart:
HE HEARS YOUR CRY, HE DELIVER ALL OF IT , HE IS NEAR, HE SEES YOU, NOTICES YOU, HE BLESSES YOU , HE WILL REVIVE YOU , HE PUTS A NEW SPIRIT IN YOU , HE DWELLS WITH YOU
Anything that we think, hear, assume or feel that is contrary is simply a lie from the enemy aimed at destroying us. Let our prayer be over our lives, families and brothers and sisters of the faith in their most desperate hour:
“The LORD is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness. The LORD is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth. He grants the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cries for help and rescues them. The LORD protects all those who love him, but he destroys the wicked. I will praise the LORD and may everyone on earth bless His HOLY Name forever and ever.”
-Psalm 145:17-21 [NLT]
May it be so.