Rom. 15:13 (NIV)
In medicine, physicians are in the business of treating the physical ailments of their patients. We prescribe medication, lifestyle changes and sometimes recommend surgery. Inevitably, we are asking our patients to put their hope for physical healing in the treatments we recommend. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, we know through the placebo effect that hope is critical for the healing process.
Hope becomes a problem when too much is placed on the wrong things. As physicians, we are tempted to place our hope and trust in things like the financial security of our position, or our ability to practice medicine.
We must not forget that ultimately, all hope should rest on God. One easy test that we can give ourselves regarding our hope is to check our level of anxiety. Hope built on the world or the things in the world is always associated with some level of anxiety. That’s because we instinctively know that nothing in this world is guaranteed. When we place our hope and trust on something that is not guaranteed we become anxious.
Only the hope that ultimately rests in Christ is guaranteed because Christ has overcome our world and is in complete control. When we place our trust in Christ and turn everything over to Him, we have also put our hope in Him. Paul reminds us that in return, hope is available to us through the indwelling Holy Spirit and that He will fill us with joy and peace.
Are you experiencing anxiety and worry? Why not instead experience hope, joy and peace. Consider reevaluating where you are placing your hope. It’s easy to have our hope migrate from the things above to the things that surround us. Remember that when our hope is fully centered on the Lord, we will experience joy and peace.
Prayer: Lord, help me to see past all the things in this world that cry for my trust, confidence and hope. Help me to recognize their temporary nature and to trust solely in You, the One who was, who is, and who will be.