Something I am learning, especially in a long season of grief, is what it means to hold fast to hope in Christ. Through His power I can face hardships and crises with a hope that perseveres. It’s part of my wiring; better yet, my refining. It is God-given: I was made to hope.

However…while (because of His grace) I respond with hope in the hardest of things, it is often the smaller, seemingly less-of-a-big-deal hiccups that catch me off guard and send me reeling. In the midst of an ocean of grief, a place where I’m learning to walk its waves (more on that another day), a tiny turbulence rocks me. My tears unexpectedly escape, my vision blurs, and suddenly I give in to the strength of the winds again. I lose my footing. The Fear invades, I sink.

And yet God, faithful and gentle, meets me there in the waters, teaching me how to reach for His hand and hold fast to my hope anchor whenever I’m tossed about.

I have this hope…and the ultimate thought-sorter.

Again and again I find deep comfort and the hope that anchors (and answers) my soul in the scriptures: the God-breathed, God-inspired word of truth. This ancient text is alive and active, real and relevant; the ultimate thought-sorter. (See Hebrews 6:19, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Hebrews 4:12.)

When I read it I not only know the Lord more deeply, I understand myself better. The word of truth lifts my eyes higher than the waves in front of me to the God who sees me, my grief, my circumstances, my worries and confusion, my hopes and dreams.

Today, in the midst of one of those sinking moments, when I felt anxious over a circumstance and decision I needed to make, I once again found comfort in the Psalms. 

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”

Psalm 32:8

‬When I remind my heart who the Lord is, I remember who I am. He is my teacher, and He counsels me with His eye upon me. That means by His counsel I will grow in understanding. I won’t stay stuck in this set of circumstances. I can see beyond what feels insurmountable in this moment. His watchful eye means I am looked after, I am seen.

The secret is Christ in me…

While those truths don’t instantaneously change my circumstances, they do change me. When my thoughts tangle and twist, press in and pound away at my peace, I sort them out again through the lens of scripture. That’s it. That’s the secret — the word of Christ in me. Because I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me, (Philippians 4:13).

“The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.”

Elisabeth Elliot

I urge you, my friends, spend time with the God of the Bible. Look for Him in the scriptures. Take your tangled up thoughts to His word to sort them out. Get to know Him as your counselor, comforter, teacher, friend. His word saves my life, saves my sanity, breathes “peace, be still” into my soul, no matter the torrent of the storm or the size of the waves, (Mark 4:39). I walk on water when my eyes are on the One who watches over me, (Matthew 14:29). Keep watch, soul. Keep watch on the One whose careful eye watches over you.

Pray with me:

I know You, Lord. You are the God who instructs me, who teaches me in the way I should go. You are the God who counsels me with your eye upon me, and You are the God who strengthens me. And now I know me: I am comforted, I am counseled, I am cared for. I am seen. And with You in me, I am strong. Here I am, Lord. I offer every thought, every question, every anxiety all to You. Keep working Your word and way into my mind, heart, body, and soul. All my praise belongs to You!


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