For anyone who has ever experienced the bondage of fear and panic, an overwhelming sense of hopelessness usually accompanies this gripping affliction. Without hope, the future is very bleak.
Yet, Paul encourages us to, “…be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12)
The hope we have is not like any other hope in this world. Our hope comes from the Lord. “No one whose hope is in [God] will ever be put to shame…” (Psalm 25:3a).
Today, I ask you a hard question: where is your hope? I know most of you reading this hope to be free from fear and panic. But, where is that hope directed? Do you hope in a doctor and his wisdom? Do you hope some new medication will finally work? How about that new counselor? Do you hope in your own abilities to beat this thing?
Please don’t get me wrong, God can work through doctors and medication and counselors, but if your entire hope is placed in these alone, you will fall short of the peace God has waiting for you.
Another command Paul gives is to be patient in affliction. This command, I must admit, is not a pleasant one. I have met many people who are now free from this debilitating disorder. Their freedom did not come overnight. It took time and patience, birthed out of prayer, faith and hope. Paul may not have known about panic attacks when he wrote this, but God did. Our Father calls us to be patient.
Finally, be faithful in prayer. Although we may not understand or comprehend the “why’s” of our condition, we must persevere in prayer. In that quiet time with your Father, he will impart hope and strength, peace and confidence.
Prayer: Father, my only hope is you. Forgive me for placing my trust in worldly and temporal remedies. Give me patience as I hope and pray for the freedom only you can bring.