Hope in Dire Circumstances:
Only three miles from the Gaza Strip, the Bitan family face constant danger. Not only from physical threats such as rockets, kite bombs, and balloon bombs, but also from non-violent anti-Semitic actions.
They have survived the fires of Hamas, only to have the BDS—Boycotts Divestments and Sanctions—nearly destroy their multi-generational farm through the promotion of boycotts against Israel and Israeli made and grown products. Products such as the flowers the Bitan family has grown for export to the European market.
Still, no matter what has been thrown their way, the Bitan family have maintained their hope in God. Hope in His promises and assurance in His Word.
They have stayed on their land, remained in Israel—the land promised of God—even when leaving was the easy thing to do… the safe thing.
They have kept hope that God would provide and save, just as He promises again and again in His Word.
Even today, as they are in threat of losing their farm due to BDS boycotts, they are fighting to keep it. They are laying their hope in God to bring help, and God has. He has directed the steps of My Olive Tree to them, and, with the help of people like you, their land is being replanted with olive trees. They are readjusting to avoid the BDS and thrive in the midst of their enemies. They are maintaining hope, just as they have maintained the land God gave them for generations.
Their hope is not wavering, and it is a lesson to all of us. A lesson that putting our hope in God—keeping it there no matter the circumstances—is the only way to thrive where God wants us to be… to live God’s promises for our lives. Living in our promised land.
What Does the Word Say About Hope?
As we look at the story of the Bitan family, we find that their hope is indeed seeing fruition. God has brought people—such as you—into their lives and through them, He is renewing their land and livelihood. Yet, is that simply by chance? What does God’s Word say of Hope?
“Hope” is prominent in both the Old and New Testaments of the Word, given to us in stories, teachings, and promises throughout. In the New King James Version of the Bible, the word, “hope” is mentioned 151 times!
This repetition is not only telling us that hope is important, but that our hope should be in God… because that is where we find victory!
Yet, this repetition goes further, when we look beyond the single word, “hope,” we see many verses speaking of hope, stating: “I hope in You,” “my hope is in You,” “hope in Him…”
These affirming statements are not only a lesson for each of us who read and hear the Word, but they are prophetic in nature. When we speak into the atmosphere that we hope in Him, we are putting a demand on our mind, will, and emotions—our soul. We are proclaiming life into ourselves, and through the repetition we are filling our hearts with the truth of it.
Our carnal mind often struggles with accepting the unconditional love and wonder of who God is. Yet, God’s love never runs out. He never changes, and His promises are sure. This is why God blessed us with repetition within His Word… so that through consistent exposure, our soul might accept what our carnal self resists.
Psalm 42:11 and 43:5 for instance, are exactly the same; and through the repetition, God is placing a special emphasis upon the message, seeking that we might understand.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.”—Psalm 42:11 and Psalm 43:5
While this scripture is not placed within any biblical story, Job perhaps would be a strong candidate for having felt and spoken this way. And, just as Job had to find hope in the Lord when everything was taken away from Him, we—thankfully never being put through all the trials Job faced—must learn how to praise God, walk out our faith daily and put our hope in Him through all of life’s circumstances.
Faith is not a feeling. That is a lesson we are taught over and over.
By that same tone, our behavior toward God and others is not meant to be based on feelings, even if God created them and can use them. Yet, hope possesses a certain, if not always direct connection with feelings…
Proverbs 13:12 speaks of hope fulfilled as being a tree of life… and how the delaying of it makes the heart sick.
The heart is a part of the soul: our mind, will, and emotions. So, when the heart is sick it is difficult for us to see the love of God; His grace and mercy toward us. It is difficult to know the joy of the Lord because a portion of our soul is sick.
Yes, we can have hope when we are saddened—which is why the connection to feelings is not always direct—yet, it is impossible to despair when we hope.
We can see the hope of our future; the new day. We know that God will provide and love us no matter what… and with that knowledge and hope, it is difficult to dwell in sadness. There is always a hidden joy when we hope—no matter the loss or pain we might know. Even when, as Ecclesiastes 3:4 says, we are in “A time to weep…”
Hope is basically a pathway with high walls on either side…
As long as we do not climb over the wall or turn back to where we have been, all we can see is the future God provides. Everything we know is what God shows us, and we are protected from everything outside the path. It makes it a time of joy!
Placing Our Hope in Him:
Jeremiah 29:11-14 perhaps says it best, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations…”
The thoughts of God are for our good. The promises of God are for our good.
Further still, “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”—Numbers 23:19
God ALWAYS keeps His Word with all of its promises and covenants. He is a covenant keeping God. Thus, EVERYTHING good and perfect that He has spoken can be ours. Sometimes we have to be in alignment to receive them; other times not… but we CAN access every promise and blessing found in God’s Word.
If we keep our eyes on His Word; entering into agreement with it, we can live in hope. We can come to know the fruition of hope!
Let us walk with our hope in Him, in the blessings God has given us, and in turn, give of those blessings so that the hope we have in Him may rest upon others.