February 6, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek
Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope. (Zechariah 9:12)
We are a people of hope, yet we still live in a world awaiting the full manifestations of the sons and daughters of God. Before things get absolutely better, they will get, in some very real way, significantly worse. So while we are people of hope, we must also be people of the stronghold.
Our stronghold is Christ Jesus: He is our Rock, our Hiding Place, our Defense in the day of trouble. So let us learn to run to Him, to abide in Him, to know what it means to surrender to Him, for He is the One that we put our eternal hope in.
In the book of Titus, our “blessed hope” is described as the glorious return of Jesus to the earth. Our hearts long for Him and for that Day. We must know that our hope will sustain us through any difficulty we will face. Again and again, we must learn to return to our stronghold. We must be as those in Israel who always know where the bomb shelter is and exactly how long it takes to get to it. We must be able to enter the hiding place of the Lord even when we are scared, distracted, wounded, or disoriented.
May we—as those who have learned to keep their lamps trimmed and full of oil—seek God for the resilience we will need for the days ahead. Enduring through difficult times can be draining. Hope can and will sustain us. On days that are bleak and dark, we can train our spiritual eyes to fix themselves on the light of our heavenly home in the distance. Weeping may last for a season, but joy shall surely overflow when our blessed Lord comes.
In the meantime, He is not holding Himself afar off. He is in our midst and will never abandon us. Learn to sink down into His Presence in all seasons, under all circumstances. There are times when you will feel nothing, but that does not mean that you are not being held by Him. There are times you will feel the deep joy of His Presence, but do not hold too tightly to the feelings. Simply enjoy them when they are present.
Our faith is an all-season faith. God is with us always; He is our sure and certain stronghold until the end. Tough times shall give way to the focus of our hope: Jesus, the Risen One.
Rose-Marie Slosek came to know the Lord in the early nineteen seventies and has a passion for organic church and the maturing of the Body of Christ. She loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email