prisoner of hope

I was listening to a testimony of a woman who had lost her 31 year old daughter and how she dealt with the loss. Her daughter, with three small children had fallen over into her mother’s arms and died suddenly. Both her parents were born again, spirit filled believers.

I have said it before and I will say it again, our FIRST reaction is vital to our coming through a season. What the mother said as she walked out of the hospital impacted me. You must remember, this was moments after walking away from her daughter.

The mother said to her husband ‘I will not live mad and I will not live sad.’ As she stated, she had no idea how she would accomplish this however, this was her statement of faith and it came at the most vital moment in this situation. She refused to live mad or sad.

As I listened to this I began to think about a scripture in Zechariah 9:12, it says; Return to the stronghold you prisoners of hope, even today I declare that I will render double to you.
The word prisoner is defined as a person captured or confined. Hope is defined as expectation of good and expectation of things hoped for. A stronghold is a place where you are in a fortress, a fenced in place…and listen to this…where you become inaccessible.

If you want to make yourself inaccessible to the enemy, you must remain a prisoner of hope.
Sadly, most people don’t. Most people, when they go through tragedies, they fall into despair and disappointment and eventually find their way back to hope.

What I learned from listening to this woman and then studying this scripture was that you can and do determine what will hold you captive or prisoner, especially during challenging times. You determine whether disappointment and discouragement and trauma will hold you captive or if you will allow hope to hold you captive. It will be one or the other, you can count on that.

On a daily basis, just as the Bible says, we choose life or death. We choose things that lead to life or that lead to death. I am not saying it is easy, but it is a truth. For myself, when Jesse died, I went into despair and it held me captive for many months. However, one year later when my sister died, I refused to allow despair to take hold of me, I remained in hope. I remained a prisoner of hope.
You see, God is so good that if we simply declare ‘I CHOOSE HOPE!’ God hears us and He honors that prayer – He helps us, captures us and holds us captive to hope.

I know many of you have been through challenging times, hard times, traumatic times and times of devastation, but you must decide today what you are going to allow to hold you captive…will it be the trauma, the devastation, the disappointment or will you allow yourself to become a prisoner of hope?
God gives the promise of restoring DOUBLE, but only to those who are prisoners of hope. Only to those who make the choice to continue to hope and expect good from a good and loving God. Are you one of those? I pray so.
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