And the Scriptures were written to teach and encourage us by giving us hope. 5 God is the one who makes us patient and cheerful. I pray that he will help you live at peace with each other, as you follow Christ. 6 Then all of you together will praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:4-6 (CEV)
I have heard and read many stories of POW’s who testify that it was the recalling of Scripture passages that kept them sane and gave them hope through many years of torture and incarceration. It is beyond my ability to understand their experience but I have had times of trial when verses came to my mind and brought calm to my troubled spirit.
Hope is a vital, but very fragile, part of our spiritual health. I do not mean “religion” when I speak of spiritual here but of what is the essence of who and what I am.
My spirit gives allegiance to Who I believe in. What I say in words can be superficial but when the words come from my spirit, they speak of what I believe in my thoughts and what saturates all that I am.
My spirit understands beyond what my mind can comprehend or process. Concepts beyond the dimension of my linear world are connected in my spirit and allow me to communicate and follow my LORD in faith.
My spirit gives me strength to stand in trials beyond what my physical body and mind can do. I remember when my then 12-year-old son was diagnosed with cancer. It was like a physical blow. I also remember thinking that if this ended in death that I would not be able to survive that. I believed that my mind would crack and I too would die. My spirit, connected to God, knew differently. My spirit knew that with God to hold me and give me His strength, I would make it.
Time with God in prayer and study of His Word is like a workout for my spirit. It strengthens my spiritual muscles and keeps me in shape to walk the paths I am given each day. To neglect this time, is to invite injury and sickness that thrives on a weakened spirit. And people who exercise with a partner are more likely to be consistent in their workout and also eat healthier. So it is when I study and pray with others.
Hope is a manifestation of good spiritual health. Just as a balanced diet and exercise are good for the body, Scripture and prayer are good for the spirit. And hope lives and grows in a healthy spirit. Jesus said that He came to seek and heal those who are sick. He came with hope.
You Know Better Than I written by David Campbell and sung by Dallyn Vail Bayles