Our hope cannot be in an outcome, no matter how righteous we believe it to be. Our hope can only be set on the character and nature of God. Who God is-that is where our Hope belongs. He IS salvation (sótéria in the Greek: welfare, prosperity, deliverance, preservation, salvation, safety)-not a desired outcome.
It is so tempting to think that a certain outcome, where my circumstances shift, is all I need to be okay. If I just had someone who truly loved me, a better job, a more desirable body, breakthrough in this destructive pattern, real friends, more money…. But outcomes are fluid, shifting, and uncertain in definition and value. God is unchanging, solid, immovable, and immeasurable. And will my circumstances changing really solve what is broken or lacking? Do I even know what I need? God is infinite goodness and peace. He sees the end from the beginning and knows in every moment what would bring life, redemption, and fulfillment to your heart.
I remember a time in my life when I was convinced that I knew the outcome I needed to see for one of my sons. I prayed, studied out scripture, stood on the promises, and did everything I knew to see my desired outcome manifest. As weeks and months went by, I could feel my heart hardening. Why didn't God move? Why wouldn't He come through for us the way we needed Him to come through? Where was He?
It is so tempting to think that a certain outcome, where my circumstances shift, is all I need to be okay. If I just had someone who truly loved me, a better job, a more desirable body, breakthrough in this destructive pattern, real friends, more money…. But outcomes are fluid, shifting, and uncertain in definition and value. God is unchanging, solid, immovable, and immeasurable.
I woke up one morning at 4:35 and had a strong sense that the time was significant. I felt like the Lord was trying to tell me something, so I asked Him what 4:35 represented. I "heard" in my spirit "Mark 4:35" and quickly turned to that passage. It is the story of Jesus falling asleep in the boat with His disciples during the storm. As I read the passage, I was struck by the end of verse 38, "…they awoke Him and said to Him, Master, do You not care that we are perishing?" I instantly felt cut to the heart as I asked, "Lord, is that what I have been doing? Questioning Your love and character?" I knew this was exactly what my heart had believed, and I felt deep remorse as I heard Him answer, "Yes." I spent some time letting this sober me, allowing myself to feel and identify with the sufferings of Christ. In the midst of this time of confession and repentance, I felt His love filling me, correcting me, strengthening me, establishing me in humility, faith, and His love once again.
I asked the Lord to show me what He was doing in my son's life, and how I could pray and align with Him. Pretty quickly I heard Him speak to my heart, "Kerri, you want me to rescue him and pluck him out of the situation. But I want to bring him out triumphant, where he gets to see not only My love but who he is in Me-a warrior." I was stunned as I sat there taking it in. I was so sure I knew the outcome that was needed, the prescription for salvation. How arrogant I had been, and what a powerful lesson I had learned.
True to His word, God did bring my son out triumphant very soon after. He exposed the plan of the enemy and shifted the entire situation to an outcome better than I ever could have asked for. To this day, I have a reverential fear of the Lord to let Him choose the outcomes He desires.
When it is revealed to you (often by a lack of peace or an awareness of striving or bitterness) that your hope is in something outside of the character and nature of God, stop and release that to the Lord. Repent for trying to be God without God. Confess where you aligned with an outcome as your hope and realign with the Way, the Truth and the Life! Ask the Lord to show you what He is doing and how you can align with Him. Peace will return as alignment is rightly restored. The Lord is always working everything together for good. Our job is to simply believe Him!