Hope has never been a thing that comes easily to me. Neither has the belief that God is good. Actually, that is only partially true. I have believed in His goodness for others, but not His goodness that is aimed toward my life. When Clint and I were engaged, I lived in fear that God would make me give up getting married and spend the rest of my life alone. Now, I can look back and clearly see the enemy's voice all over those thoughts. They were so religious and ridiculous that it's laughable. At the time, though, I mostly believed God was in the business of having us die to our dreams. I viewed Him as a scary sovereign passing out judgments, not a good and loving Father who wanted to have a relationship with me. Because of this way of thinking, I allowed myself to be robbed of the joy and hope that should be a part of planning a wedding and a future together. Instead, it was filled with stress and fear.
I mostly believed God was in the business of having us die to our dreams.
There are plenty of other circumstances that have been like that. I have lived most of my life waiting for the other shoe to drop. I now know that living like that, in a constant state of worry, fear and hopeless disappointment, was directly connected to childhood trauma.
The reality is that a lot of people do what I did. We adjust our theology to fit the circumstances of our lives. Sometimes our thought processes are totally justified by our life experiences. That, however, doesn't mean that those ways of thinking are right, healthy or the way God intended us to be.
We adjust our theology to fit the circumstances of our lives.
So what do you do when you realize you've believed lies about God most of your life? How do you go about making a correction? I have personally begun to demand hope of myself. I command my soul to hope in God. When fear of loss tries to sneak in, I speak out loud to my heart. I firmly remind myself that, "No good thing has been withheld from me." I deliberately review the past years of my life, looking for examples of God's goodness and faithfulness made manifest. I remind myself that my outward circumstances are not my dictator; they are actually subject to my inner world. My beliefs and thoughts, my heart toward God is the actual standard. I remind myself that I am worth it to Jesus. I am a creation in the image of my Father, and He called that creation good. I say a resounding no to hopelessness and fear, while saying yes to joy, peace, hope and love.
It takes time to undo a lifetime of wrong believing. It takes some effort on my part and a conscious decision to plant truth in the soil of my heart and mind.
I say a resounding no to hopelessness and fear, while saying yes to joy, peace, hope and love.
Be bold in your pursuit of hope. Snatch up the weeds of fear and doubt that the enemy of your destiny wants to plant. Replace them with the truth of God's Word, the truth of His character, the truth of His goodness and love that is firmly aimed toward your life.
"The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger, and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His compassion is over all His works" (Ps. 145:8-9).
"The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of distress; and He knows those who take refuge in Him" (Nah. 1:7).
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no change or shadow of turning" (James 1:17).
Reprinted with permission from NexGen Worship. Hayley Kahler is a proud mother to 3 boys and wife to Clint Kahler. She loves Jesus, coffee and chocolate. Hayley has led worship with her husband, Clint, for 20-plus years.
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