Hope – Part 2
This is the second installment from the book Hope by Marilyn Conrad
HOPE OR DEFEAT?
Life can be tough and painful. God did not promise that we would never have challenges or difficult times to go through. When these times come we find out what is on the inside of us. Do we choose to grow better or get bitter? Do we choose to speak the Word over our situations or let our situations overcome us? Do we choose to believe what God says or do we believe the lies of the enemy of our souls? Do we choose to hope in God and have faith that our marriages will be healed or accept defeat?
Covenant Keepers received letters from two men who had been apart from their mates for about the same length of time. One was uplifting and the other was depressing, expressing two totally different attitudes.
One said it would be better if our organization did not exist, that we give false hope and teach people to not accept reality. He described himself as a wounded soldier who has lost everything, including his wife and his livelihood. He attends church occasionally and has no hope because he sees very few answers to the prayers of Christians. He sometimes considers suicide and hopes that he can believe in God’s love again.
The other man shared how, since standing for six years for his marriage, God’s breaking away of a lot of the subtle, yet powerful and dysfunctional bondage of Satan in his life has brought awesome fulfillment and joy!
His attitude was totally different from that of the first man. He was not complaining or bitter. He was not looking at his wife’s sin, but rather at the work God is doing in his own life. He also shared the following thoughts.
In the spiritual realm Satan is trying to steal, kill and destroy the glory of God in any way he can. God, on the other hand, is trying to set us free from Satan’s deception to let us experience fulfillment in His glory. Satan goes to one spouse in a marriage and says, “I want to use you to destroy this relationship and in leaving, inflict collateral damage on the children and future generations and steal the glory from God.” (Unfortunately he doesn’t say it outright. He deceives them into doing it.) God says to the other spouse, “I want to use you to stand and heal this relationship and in standing provide a strong heritage for the children and future generations and let my glory come forth powerfully.”
We control who takes authority—either we exercise the authority we have in Christ or we relinquish it to Satan. But all too often Satan deceives us also, and we give in and he walks off, smirking, with the victory. How sad. All God’s power and glory are laid aside to allow Satan the freedom to steal, kill and destroy. This ought not to be. Instead of letting Satan win we should stand and claim the victory in Christ. Who is this devil that he dare defy the armies of the living God? The gates of hell shall not prevail against us—so we’re going in after our spouses to set them free from his deception and bondage. He will NOT have the victory any longer!
I feel compassion for my brother who hurts so badly. I pray healing for his broken heart and wounded spirit, so that he can hope once again and experience God’s love. I pray he can learn to take his eyes off what his wife has done and allow God to do a work in him. I pray hope will become faith so that he can be victorious in every area of his life; not just his marriage.
I believe we can learn to resist Satan’s attacks instead of giving in to defeat and blaming others and God. I believe we can learn that people are not our enemies according to Ephesians 6:12, which says we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places.
I believe we can learn to be patient and give the timing to God. Habakkuk 2:3-4 (TLB) says it this way, “But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!”
How do we arrive at the place where we no longer hurt, but have peace and joy? “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” We must sit under the preaching and teaching of the Word and spend time in the Word until it speaks to us personally. We must feed on God’s Word until it becomes stronger and more powerful than the words our flesh or the devil speaks. Yes, in the beginning we must discipline ourselves when we do not feel like spending time with the Lord. When our flesh wants to kick and scream and have a pity party. When others tell us we are wasting our time and to get on with our lives. However, the results are well worth the work involved. Not only do we enter into a place of rest and patience, but healing also takes place in our lives and we experience the joy of the Lord and the assurance that we are exactly where God wants us: a place of hope instead of defeat. The choice is ours; we decide which path we take. We can choose to hope in God and trust Him for the outcome, or we can choose to be negative and blame God and others. There is always hope in God. Nothing is impossible or too difficult for Him!