A lot of times in life and in this Christian walk things happen that cause us to lose hope or cause our hope to falter. Things like disappointments, broken promises, recurring situations, difficult long-lasting situations, hardships, deaths, illnesses, and trials can cause us to wonder if things will ever really get better and if we should have any hope at all. I know what it’s like to feel like this because I’ve been there more than once. Not too long ago I went through a period where I felt like there just wasn’t any point in hoping any more – hoping for things to change or for things to get better. I felt like I had hoped for certain things, even things that God promised and yet nothing was happening. I had believed what God said, stood on His word, had faith, was obedient to what He told me to do and patiently waited but things still remained the same. Due to situations going on around me I became tired in my spirit and I was then subject to being attacked by the enemy. My faith and especially my HOPE was under attack.
Sometimes when certain situations go on for so long and you’re getting one hit after the other and have dealt with many disappointments, you become spiritually drained and you begin to wonder in your flesh: “Why should I even hope?” “Will things really change?” What I began to realize during that time is that I can’t put my hope in what’s going on around me. I can’t put my hope in a situation changing or in things getting better that I want/need to get better. Life has it’s up and downs. Things can be great one day and then go downhill the next just by one slight change in events. My hope has to be in Jesus Christ and in Him alone.
What is your hope in?
It’s so easy to say in your heart: “When I get this, then things will get better,” or “when I do this, my life will finally be much easier,” or “if this happens then everything will be ok…”. We rationalize and plan out in our minds how if we obtain certain things or if certain things take place then we’d be much better off in life and we would finally be comfortable/stable/happy or whatever else. This rationalization is really us putting our hope in things other than Christ. What if things don’t change or what if what you expect doesn’t happen till much later than you expected? Will you still be happy? Will you still be at peace and have joy? Or will you live unfulfilled because you’re waiting for things to change?
I’ve learned that my ultimate hope has to be in Christ. My joy and my delight has to be in the hope of His coming and in the hope of eternity with Him (heaven). This is what has to sustain me, not hope in my situation changing. This is what I must look forward to and prepare for more than anything on this earth. Having this mindset has helped me weather the toughest storms. It’s helped me endure extremely challenging situations and given me the endurance that I need to make it through some things. Sometimes we find ourselves spiritually tired and spiritually drained because we’re hoping in so many other things. So many things in this life will fail you, but hope in Christ and in the promise of eternity is guaranteed (if you’ve accepted Him). If your hope is in things above, when circumstances down here change, you will not be moved.
“Therefore if you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, sharing in His resurrection from the dead], keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value]. For you died [to this world], and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. – Colossians 3:1-4 (AMP)
THIS is what we should be looking forward to the most! When nothing else changes, HOPE IN CHRIST; when nothing seems to be getting better, HOPE IN CHRIST, when things seem to be getting worse, HOPE IN CHRIST. This hope will keep you. The things taking place down here won’t get to you as much when you understand where you are going. Even if you have to cry through certain situations (been there), you still have comfort knowing that heaven is your home and God has prepared a mansion just for you – this is what will keep you going.
Hope in His word
There is so much hope found in the word of God. If we dig deep enough we can find a promise that we can hold on to. His word is literally life to our bones. There have been times where I felt hopeless and like giving up and the Holy Spirit would bring a verse to mind or lead me to a particular passage. Some of my favorite passages to read when dealing with hopelessness is Hebrews 6, 10, 11, and 12. When you find yourself starting to feel hopeless, dig into the word. Find passages like Matthew 6:25-24 that talks about how God takes care of His children and we shouldn’t worry about the things we need. Or verses like Isaiah 55:11 that says God watches over His word. Or verses like Philippians 1:6 that tell us that Christ will complete what He has begun in us. Anchor yourself in the word. His word is what you’ll have to stand on when the enemy is whispering in your ear. If you’re not filling yourself up with the word you will have nothing to fight with when the enemy attacks.
God’s written words are the most important words we should hold on to in times of hopelessness, but we should also be holding on to prophetic words that He’s spoken over our lives or our situations as well. If God has told you something prophetically, hold on to it and use it to fight.
“Timothy, you are like a son to me. What I am telling you to do agrees with the prophecies that were told about you in the past. I want you to remember those prophecies and fight the good fight of faith.” – 1 Timothy 1:18 (ERV)
In this verse Paul tells Timothy to use the prophetic words spoken over his life as a weapon to fight with. When the enemy tries to get you to believe a lie, remind yourself of the written word of God and the prophetic words that He has spoken. Don’t just sit around and wait for those words to come to pass or lock them up somewhere, use them as constant reminders as you go through life’s battles. God often gives us prophetic words to encourage us in our journey and give us glimpses of what is to come IF we stay the course.
Hoping in God’s word vs. hoping in our desire
Now, it’s important to know that just because we “hope” or “believe” something does not mean that God said it. I think sometimes we can hope for something so much that we begin to convince ourselves that God said it when in actuality He didn’t. And just because God didn’t say it doesn’t mean we can’t achieve it or it can’t happen, but we do have to understand that God is ONLY obligated to perform HIS word (Isaiah 55:11) – not our desires. This is very important to understand because when we hope in something we begin to create an expectation in our heart for that thing. But if what we hoped for is something that God does not desire to do (an unrealistic expectation), when that thing does not come to pass we can end up being seriously disappointed which can affect our courage to hope in the future. God gave us a natural ability to have desires, but we have to make sure that those desires line up with His word and with His will for our lives.
Maybe you’re feeling hopeless because you are hoping for something that isn’t in God’s will for you and it hasn’t come to pass. If you’re unsure, seek God and make sure that your hopes line up with His will for your life; you don’t want to find yourself going through disappointment after disappointment trying to kick down a door that God never meant to be opened. When you do discover His will for you (which comes by presenting your body as a living sacrifice and surrendering your will to His – Romans 12:1-2) you will discover that what He has planned for you is much greater than anything you could ever desire for yourself.
Also understand that God can speak a word but that doesn’t mean that it will come to pass right away. Sometimes we lose hope in something God said because we don’t see it yet. God works on His time. If He spoke it, it will happen whenever HE is ready to perform it, not when you want it to happen. Just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean you should lose hope that it will happen.
Hope in Christ does not disappoint
“And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.” – Romans 5:5 (NLT)
This hope will not disappoint. As you live out your Christian walk in obedience to His word, you will not be disappointed. As you keep your mind and heart heavenward, this hope will not disappoint you. Life may be hard right now and you may be facing one bad situation after another, but KEEP HOPING IN CHRIST, He will not fail you. Things may look bleak but hold on to the joy of your salvation. Your obedience to God now in spite of the trials and tests you face will yield for you an eternal reward and heavenly inheritance that can never be taken away – the salvation of your soul (1 Peter 1:10-12, I suggest reading that whole chapter)!
We know that we can trust in this hope and we know that this hope will not disappoint us because God went above and beyond to show His love for us by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us. The things He takes us through today are all motivated by His love, therefore we can trust in Him and keep our hope in Him and Him alone.
So don’t lose your hope over temporary life situations, hold on to Hope Himself – He has your life.
If you’ve emailed me recently please be patient with me as I reply to all the emails. I see it, I’m not ignoring it, and I will reply as soon as I can lol. I’ve skimmed through some of the emails and noticed that some of the questions asked were answered in previous blog posts. Please check out the blog posts I’ve linked below, some of your answers are within those posts. Others have asked me more personal questions regarding their situation. There is no one better than God to answer your questions about what you are going through right now. All I can do is pray for you and share with you things that I’ve learned along my journey (which I’ve shared in the posts linked below) but the Holy Spirit can do so much more than I can. Prayer and time in the word will help you get a better understanding about what God is doing in your life right now. And often times, being too anxious clouds our ability to hear clearly from God. So I encourage you all to not be anxious about your situation and to sincerely seek God in faith. If He doesn’t give you an answer right away, then it’s not time to know yet and He wants you to simply wait and trust Him.
I love you all and I’m praying for you all! ❤
Please read/re-read the posts linked below.