Most of us would agree that it is easy to have hope when things are going well. When life gets difficult, however, it can be challenging to cling onto the hope that we so desperately need. These are the moments that we must lean into the promises we have been given through Jesus. Importantly, there is no five-step program, no self-help book, and no technology that has the power to fully reassemble the broken pieces of our heart. But Jesus can! He came to heal sick, broken, weak, and flawed people like you and me. He is in the business of repairing broken people, and He is the only hope for the desperate.
The hope that God has provided for us is not merely wishful thinking. It does not depend on other people, nor is it contingent on the circumstances of our sometimes complicated life. Neither is our hope a means of escaping our circumstance or a hard season. Instead, our faith allows us to maintain confident expectation in God’s ability and desire to fulfill His promises. Our hope is based on our trust in God’s unchanging character! By His grace, we are able to start each day with a new perspective, renewed vigor, and deep trust in His kindness. His eyes are on those who hope in His steadfast love (Psalm 33:18), and there isn’t a better place to look for hope than His Word (Psalm 119:81,114).
As believers and followers of Jesus, we get to hope for things beyond our daily needs. We get to carry hope for eternal things - things that will never decay or waste away. When our perspective shifts toward eternal life and when our faith is strongly anchored in God’s promises, we have hope that transcends the uncertainty of this life. The future is not unknown to Him. He can be trusted with it, and He will help guide us through every season. His plans for us are good, and He promises to meet our needs.
While we can have hope for the future God has planned for us, there will be plenty of times when we go through tremendous suffering, hardship, and losses. Healing from deep wounds, abuse, depression, anxiety, dysfunction, and patterns of sin, etc., takes time and rarely is a quick fix. The greater the wounds, the longer it takes to heal.
Even so, we can still trust that God is at work in us and around us. We can count on Him to give us patience and the ability to endure, knowing that suffering helps produce in us perseverance and character, which lead to biblical hope (Romans 5:3-5). Character doesn't happen overnight. Becoming like Jesus is a process and a journey - not a single event. Everything we go through grows and matures us, and through challenges He stretches us and lovingly leads us to become fully mature, lacking nothing.
However deep in despair you feel, Christ is in the middle of the struggle with you. He is weeping alongside you, conquering that which feels too heavy to carry, and bringing beauty from even the most bitter ashes (Isaiah 63:1). As long as you have breath moving through your body, you have a reason to keep fighting. Will you fight with me? Will you dare to believe that there is more to your life than the suffering and pain that overpowers you today? Will you step out in faith regardless of how hopeless things appear, and will you choose to believe that God will bring beauty from that which attempts to destroy you? Even if the most you can do is continue breathing, I beg of you to choose hope today. It will not disappoint.
Prayer: We place our hope in your unchanging character, God. You are always good. You are always faithful. You are always fighting for us! When life feels too heavy, we take on your easy yoke. We rest in your kindness, and we stake our lives in your Word. Thank you that you are making us more like Jesus, and you don’t waste anything that we go through. We place our hope in your steadfast love. Amen.
The Anchor: Psalm 33:18 (ESV) Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love.