“Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.” Psalm 34:5

Underlying many of our prayers are two dueling attitudes: hope and a fear of disappointment. On some days, hope seems to reign; on others, fear of disappointment gets the upper hand.

When we bathe in God’s Presence, fill our minds with His promises, and take Him at His word, hope rises up within us. When we look around at circumstances, measure improbabilities, and expect the usual or “normal” course of events, fear of disappointment quenches the hope we thought we had. Eventually, one of these attitudes has to dominate the other.

God wants our hope to be pure.

Hope fuels faith, and faith is almost always a necessary condition for answered prayer. Fear that somehow God will let us down, that His promises don’t really mean what we thought they meant, corrupts our faith. Even if it doesn’t quench faith completely, the mixture is toxic. It’s what James called being “double-minded” (James 1:8, NIV), or literally, “double-souled,” and it results in receiving nothing from the Lord (James 1:7). But if we look to Him for help—if our gaze is filled with hope and faith —we will be “radiant with joy?” We will not be disappointed. Having gone out on a limb in faith, we will not end up ashamed.

Don’t be afraid of going out on a limb in faith. Look to God for help.

Even if you stumble and fall, He will honor the heart behind your faith and bring you to a place of joy. His Presence will radiate from your life because you chose to trust Him. He comes to those who let hope defeat fear and who invest their hopes in Him.

Pray Today

Lord, I easily look to human sources and earthly wisdom for help and easily end up disappointed. Help me turn my gaze to You, to find my hope only in You, and I will never be ashamed.

©2024, Walk Thru the Bible, taken from One Year Experiencing God’s Presence