Have you ever felt hopeless? Sometimes it isn’t a major calamity, but the daily grind of life that can lead to overwhelming feelings of gloom. It is getting up every morning to do the same things as the day before. Facing the insurmountable mounds of laundry, homework, and meals, on top of the pressure to maintain an intimate and steamy relationship with your husband, can all but push you right over the edge.
When we lose sight of the goal and allow circumstances to cloud our vision, we can feel as though all hope is gone. Once we have allowed the darkness to invade we can spiral into despair. How do we guard against these feelings? How can we prevent such despair? Is there a way to maintain hope even in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles and the grind of the mundane?
Did you know that just because you feel hopeless doesn’t mean that the feelings are true? Feelings are not truth! But feelings that are fueled by wrong ways of thinking are like ruts in our brain. And the evil one is more than happy to keep feeding you doubt and discouragement.
When I was a child, I had an aunt and uncle that had go-carts they allowed us to ride in their back yard. We rode those go-carts through the same path in the yard so many times that we created ruts, or tracks. The same thing can happen with thoughts in our mind.
The ruts in our thinking must be stopped and replaced with the truth. As we arrest those wrong thoughts and replace them with truth, we are creating new “ruts” that will become new habits of thinking and reacting (2 Cor. 10:3-5). I serve the God of all hope! My life is not defined by one day, but by the daily living to honor Christ. It is as I serve my family, that I am serving Him. When I choose to set my mind on things above, the things of this earth grow strangely dim. I am on mission for the King as I fold laundry, clean the kitchen (again!), say goodnight prayers and ask the Lord to allow me to thrill once again at my husband’s touch.
Feelings of hopelessness will only be conquered when we take God at His Word and believe He is able! Hopelessness breeds insecurity, which increases anxiety and gives entrance to the fiery darts of the evil one. It is amazing to me that the more self-focused our society has become, the more anxious and insecure we have become. This anxiety not only affects us, but also can profoundly affect our children.
I love this definition of hope: “to look forward with reasonable desire and confidence.” It reminds me of a scripture verse I committed to memory—“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the confidence of things not seen,” Hebrews 11:1. Could it be that there is an undeniable link between faith and hope? Hebrews goes on to tell us in verse 6, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
The Bible says, “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ,” Rom. 10:17. To believe that “God is,” as Hebrews 11:6 says, I must get to know Him in His Word. It is as I get to know Him that I see His heart of compassion for those who seek Him. Knowing Him increases my faith.
God’s Word also challenges me to seek first His Kingdom (Mt. 6:33) knowing that if I do, He will take care of all my needs. As I pursue Him, He provides. Then, not only do I have hope for tomorrow (Jer. 29:11), but I also have hope for today. I not only look forward to eternity with Him—“where eye has not seen, nor has ear heard all that God has prepared for those who love him,” (1 Cor. 2:9)—I know that same God cares for me today, right now in the midst of my mess!
The way to remain hopeful—or full of hope—is to know the God of hope! Do you know Him? Have you surrendered your hopelessness to Him that He might fill you with His hope and purpose? Do you know in an intimate way, the God who sent His Son that you might not only have hope, but life eternal? If you really know Him, you will trust Him. If you trust Him, there is no room for despair!
My prayer for you, dear friend, is the same as Paul’s prayer for the Romans, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing (faith), so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit,” Romans 15:13.
Arrest those thoughts of discouragement and despair.
Refuse them entrance.
Place your faith in Jesus Christ, and allow His Word and His Spirit to fill you with hope!
*The following scriptures are great to write on index cards and meditate upon.
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