When Hope Seems Lost
Day 5: Hold On
As we conclude this month’s devotional, I hope this short series provided you with a second wind and the encouragement to continue hoping, believing and trusting that “this too shall pass.”
Have you ever known a woman who’s endured an incredibly heartbreaking event yet still exudes joy, calm and peace?
I listened to just such a woman share her testimony in a small group that had a profound impact on me.
She’d suddenly found herself immersed in a season of deep grief after an unexpected loss yet she was lively, genuinely happy and overflowing with hope.
Not wanting to be nosy but desperately needing to know her secret, I walked straight up to her and asked.
She actually thanked me then proceeded to open her Bible and excitedly share Paul’s words: “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Rom 5:3-5
Her trial and its onslaught of profound pain resulted in a resilience and perseverance she would need to survive much less hold onto hope.
She said some days found her curled up on the sofa as the waves of grief overtook her while other days she was exuberantly praising God and thanking Him for being her strength through it all.
Her authenticity and raw honesty amazed me! She said her antidote to hopelessness was to “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Rom 12:12
Life may have taken her to a dark place but God brought her through it.
At 43 I had lost all hope, literally. If there was a rock bottom I’d hit it. I donned my happy face in public but in private I cried – a lot.
You see, I was the prodigal daughter sitting in her own grotesque mess while the enemy stood over her taunting her with lies like “God’s mad at you” “It’s all your fault and you are getting what you deserve” “God’s given up on you so just give up too” and more.
The wonderful motivational speaker Les Brown says “When you fall always try to land on your back because if you can look up you can get up.”
Remember that scripture that says “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it”? Prov 22:6
Well my grandmother and mother took that verse literally and at every opportunity as a youth exposed me to the Word. They lived, breathed and spoke it daily. If the church doors were open I was with them on the pew.
And thank God because you wouldn’t be reading this today otherwise.
At my darkest moment a long forgotten scripture they’d taught me came to mind “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Ps 34:18
That was me. Broken, crushed and hopeless. Then I cried some more. But this time not from guilt and shame but for help. And help immediately showed up in a man named Jesus. And ten years later He still walks with me daily.
If you are struggling to hold onto hope let me encourage you with God’s Word as He extends to you His saving hand of grace.
Listen closely and you will hear Him calling your name and while you may be in the storm of your life hang on because He will restore you, renew your strength, reestablish your foundation of faith and make you steadfast.
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Pet 5:10
“ . . .Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the water, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior . . .” Isa 43:1 – 3
Christ said “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
May your unfailing love be with us, LORD, even as we put our hope in you. Ps 33:22
I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. Ps 130:5
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Rom 15:13
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer 29:11
But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish. Ps 9:18
Psalm 91: 3 – 16 “Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”