Have you ever had seasons in your life where a predicament seems to go from bad to worse? Not only are the circumstances you face difficult, but they are prolonged. Day by day, week by week, you feel that dull pain that makes your heart ache. You wonder when the storm will end.
As time goes on it can be quite easy for your heart to become hard. You know God is all powerful so you wonder why He hasn’t helped you. You grow calloused and become isolated. You’re emotions begin to rule and dictate the decisions you make. The bible says that hope deferred can make your heart sick. If you feel like your heart is growing sick, that hope has eluded you, I want to encourage you to do what Stephen (the first martyr) did in Acts 7.
The Jewish leaders were infuriated by Stephen’s accusation, and they shook their fists at him in rage.But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand. And he told them, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!”Then they put their hands over their ears and began shouting. They rushed at him and dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. His accusers took off their coats and laid them at the feet of a young man named Saul. As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died.
In difficult times we must become resolute on being full of the Holy Spirit. It takes effort. You have to force yourself to focus on God. Get desperate! Go out to the woods, beach, somewhere and get alone with God. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you up with God’s power and peace. When you do this, when you do something drastic to get close to God, you will eventually come to place where you decide what your true hope will be in. Will it be in your deliverance or will it be in the deliverer?
Stephen was so full of the Holy Spirit that he gazed into the sky and saw the heavens open. He was able to see right past his problems, past the infuriated Jewish council, past the fact that he was moments away from being murdered. He saw the end, but not of his life. He saw the final victory which ends with Jesus being clothed in majesty and sitting at the right hand of God. It was a powerful sight that eclipsed his momentary struggles.
And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children
Place your hope in the reality of heaven. When you’re full of the Holy Spirit you can’t help, but to see things from a different perspective. How long your current predicament will last is not as important as how much love your creator has for you. Know that He sees you, that He loves you, and that He has already won. We can place our hope in that our victorious and compassionate King has overcome the world.
I’m Harold Dorrell Briscoe. Thanks for reading.