Lent – Day 23 – Expectant Hope
“The Lord upholds all who fall, and raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look expectantly to You, and You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand, and satisfy the desire of every living thing.” Psalm 145:14-16
Tradition holds that during the observance of Lent, as a spiritual discipline, certain abstinences are observed in order to devote more of our time to spiritual reflection or to purify the body and reset more healthy eating habits. Some have found it to be a good time to break old unwanted habits such as smoking or consumption of intoxicants or stimulants. But, almost universally, it is seen as a time to limit personal pleasure experiences in exchange for more subdued activities that are focused toward helping others than enjoying personal pleasures.
In the main, all of these can be and are beneficial to some extent. It is important, to remember, however, that God has not asked us to force suffering and discomfort on ourselves in order to please Him. Our suffering is never His pleasure. Jesus suffered for all of us once and for all time. We can add nothing to His work of salvation through His suffering, death, burial and Resurrection.
Lent is not a time to put Jesus back on the cross, bury Him again and wait for Easter to once again rejoice in His resurrection. He is alive and we are saved now! We have the Good News of the Gospel to declare to the world now. Jesus is seated on the throne of Heaven and we worship Him now as He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, The Savior of the world raised from the dead and alive for evermore!
When we are at low points in our lives, when we’ve become entangled in circumstances that overwhelm and weigh us down, God comes with His provision to provide all that we need and more. And this He does for all of His creation.
The eyes of all wait upon the Lord, to provide and to satisfy their desire for life, for food, for clothes, for rain in due season, for the Sun, the Moon, the stars, for hope, for patience, for longsuffering, for forgiveness, for encouragement, for material things, for water, for love, for every living creature. And He never fails to provide. He never fails to satisfy and then some, because He is the God of more than enough, El Shaddai. His provisions for us are limitless. We need only ask, believe and receive.
Look to Jesus, whenever, whatever and wherever the need, whatever the desire, He will not fail you.