Sometimes I read a verse and it won’t let me go. It burrows deep into my heart, nudging me toward something fresh. Or maybe it nestles down into my mind, pushing me to new understanding. A few years ago Psalm 62:8 was etched on my heart and carried me through the most difficult season of my life so far. When I was in high school, 2 Corinthians 5:17 drew a circle around me and my identity in Christ. Fourteen years ago when my daughter was born, Lamentations 2:19 helped define my role as a mom.
A few weeks ago Psalm 71 was part of my Lenten readings. I pondered the psalmist’s plea for God’s protection and prayed for the same protection for my family. And then I read verse 14.
But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.
I couldn’t go any further. I couldn’t pray. I couldn’t journal. It was as if the Lord said, “This. This right here. Will you be this person, Teri Lynne?”
For several minutes I read and reread those thirteen words. Hope in Scripture means “confident expectation.” Hope isn’t wishing something would happen; it’s believing God is faithful to His word. Hope means we stand firm in our faith even when the world seems to be falling apart around us. Our hope is based entirely on God’s character, not our abilities or efforts.
Do I hope continually? Do I live in the confident expectation, the firm belief, that God is able … all the time?
As I asked myself some hard questions, I read again the second part of the verse. “Praise you yet more and more.” What is the relationship between hope and praise? The result of hope is praise. The result of continual hope is continual praise … more and more. More hope yields more praise.
Maybe the measure of my belief is the depth of my praise. Maybe the answer to my doubt is worship. Maybe the cure for shallow faith is deep praise.
I’m finding when I truly believe, when I have a confident expectation, when I hope continually in the Lord, there is nothing left to do but praise Him. And as I praise Him more, there is more hope, more faith, more belief.
I don’t know what situations you are facing today. I don’t know where you are struggling. I don’t know what fears and doubts are hindering your hope. But I do know this: praise is the answer. When we recall His faithfulness, our faith is grown. When we recount His provision, our fear is lessened. When we remember His presence, our doubt is defeated.
Today, will you make this your declaration: