He Gave Her Something to Hope For
Written by: Blair Lane
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“Did I ask you for a son, my lord? And didn’t I say, 'Don’t deceive me and get my hopes up?'"
- 2 Kings 4:28
It’s never easy when God gives us exactly what we ask Him for only to have Him take it away. It can make things seem… hopeless.
There has to be a reason, right? Where do we find hope in the midst of situations like that?
There was a woman in Shunem who found herself in a similar situation.
One time when the prophet Elisha was traveling, this woman invited him to stay with her and her husband. After that, every time Elisha was in the area, he would stop by to share a meal with the couple.
It didn’t take long for the woman to recognize that Elisha was a faithful man of God. She had her husband build a small room on the roof of their house and furnished it so that Elisha would always have his own place to stay with them. She did this without being asked just because she wanted to use the blessings God had given her to provide for Elisha.
During one of his visits, Elisha told his servant, Gehazi, to ask the woman, “We appreciate the kind concern you have shown us. What can we do for you? Can we put in a good word for you to the king or to the commander of the army?” (2 Kings 4:13). He wanted to return the kindness she had shown him.
But the woman insisted she was well taken care of and didn’t need anything else.
Later, Gehazi pointed out, “She doesn’t have a son, and her husband is an old man” (2 Kings 4:14).
Elisha then called her back and told her that she’d have a son within the next year!
The woman begged Elisha not to deceive her about this—she didn’t want to get her hopes up for nothing.
It’s always disappointing when we get our hopes up about something, only to have them dashed when that dream or goal doesn’t come true. It feels like it would have been better to have never hoped at all.
Surely that’s what this woman was thinking. But Elisha’s words were true. God gave her a son!
Unfortunately, when her son grew older (the Bible doesn’t say how old), he passed away. This time, the woman refused to give up hope. She knew that if anyone could give her son back, it would be the God who gave him to her in the first place. If God could miraculously give her a son, surely He could bring that son back to life.
She immediately set out on a donkey to find Elisha, and when she got a chance to speak with him, she threw herself at his feet and cried, “Did I ask you for a son, my lord? And didn’t I say, ‘Don’t deceive me and get my hopes up’?” (2 Kings 4:28).
And yet, she didn’t give up hope. She refused to go home without Elisha. A part of her still hoped that there was something he could do.
God rewarded the woman’s hope. He gave her something to hope for, and He carried her through to the end. God allowed Elisha to bring her son back to life.
God was glorified through the woman’s hope.
We can have hope that, first of all, God will always keep His promises. He promised the woman a son, and He saw that promise through.
Second, we can know that—no matter what happens—God will be glorified. We must never lose hope. He will work everything out in His timing in the way He knows is best.
God is our hope in times of pain and times that seem hopeless.
1. How has God gotten your hopes up about something in your life?
2. How did He follow through (hint: it may not be in the way you expect)?
Thank You for giving me reason to hope through Your promises—which You never fail to keep. Help me to never be afraid of “getting my hopes up” because every instance is a chance for You to be glorified. Thank You for giving me things in this life that I may hope for and look forward to in every stage of my life. Amen.
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