We can live 3 weeks without food We can live 3 days without water
We can live 3 minutes without air
But I believe we can only truly live seconds without HOPE. This is another truth the last 3 years of walking this hard road through widowhood, singleness and single parenting has taught me!
I am not saying that I have not felt hopeless for longer than seconds because the last three years has proven that one heart can certainly experience every negative emotion, from despair to sheer agony, to loneliness to incredible physical and emotional pain, fear and disappointment you get the picture. Sometimes lasting for days, weeks and months. At times I wondered would I ever have anything to smile over again? Would I emerge this terrible season with any trace of the LOVE, JOY and HOPE that I once had in abundance in my old life?
Yet the past three years every time I think I just can't do this, there is more here than I can bear! I even have pity parties and feel really sorry for myself. BUT then GOD reminds me that there was PURPOSE in my PAIN, loss, loneliness, being single again, being a single Mom etc... Not to say it isn't okay to have a sad day or two. Or even a pity party. I just know it doesn't make me feel any better and I don't want to stay there!
I can't tell you how many people I talk to who share how hopeless they feel on a regular basis. I have encountered many precious people who have so much anxiety and depression. It is not just people who have lost loved ones or who are single people. It is successful people, married people, pretty people, even godly people, it really can and does affect everybody. We are living in a fallen, broken world full of pain and suffering and many of us are grasping for something to find HOPE in.
SO is you are finding yourself in a "hopeless" situation today. Take heart, you're not alone. God hasn't forgotten you. He LOVES you!. He desires to be your HOPE. Here are just a few verses and ideas that have helped me focus on the positive and remember that I am not without HOPE as a child of the King of Kings and the Prince of Peace.
Also I wanted to point out that there is a difference between a wish which leaves the outcome to chance AND Hope which is a strong and confident expectation and dependence on a loving God.
If God truly loves me and His word says that He works ALL things together for MY good and HIS glory (Romans 8:28) then I can trust and have faith that being stuck in the pit of despair isn't it! And believe me being in the pit of despair is truly the PITS!! After the HARD and even excruciating road I have walked I STILL believe that God is worthy to trust and is dependable even on my hardest day, He has a proven tack record of faithfulness in my life! The amount of HOPE I have isn't dependent on my circumstances but on the HOPE I can only find when I walk daily with a loving God and by trusting in His promises even when life doesn't make sense.
My biggest source of encouragement before losing Todd and now more than ever is Gods Holy Word. It is what keeps my heart and mind focused on Him and His eternal perspective. It is truly a lamp to my feet and light to my path!
~Romans 15:13"May the God of HOPE fill you with all Joy and Peace as you trust Him, so that you may overflow Hope by the Power of the Holy Spirit!" I literally pray this over and over again. I know that God knows His words and promises but when I pray them back to him and memorize and meditate on them it lines my heart and mind up with His. Oh how my mind can go to the crazy, "what if" places and the dark places in my mind. I bet I'm not alone in this.
~Psalm 33:20, "We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and shield." Oh how I cannot imagine if I did not have his help and protection. Sometimes my own thoughts and fears are my biggest enemies. Again I am reminded that God has allowed all this to happen in my life but he never said I had to walk this road alone or without his help and protections. Oh how grateful I am for those truths!!
~Lamentations 3:25, "The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks Him." As I have walked with the Lord and have developed some deep faith roots especially as life's trials have threatened to take me down I have learned that I can run after many things. I can seek happiness in relationships, physical fitness, worldly achievements, financial security etc... but the only times I truly have a HOPE that cannot be taken away is when I am pursuing my Father and His purposes. And I'm not saying that all those things I mentioned or I desire are bad. I just have to make sure to be seeking Him and His will first.
~ Proverbs 13:12, "Hope deferred makes the heart-sick, but when the desire comes it's a tree of life!
Well who wants to wait for something you prayed and hoped for. Certainly NOT me but another thing I have learned is that when I have certain desires that I believe to be from the Lord they are worth waiting for!! God's timing is perfect and why would I settle for anything other than his very best. I know that when the desire is based in His will and His timing it will be a LIFE giving and amazing thing!
So when I find myself today feeling hopeless I am reminded that in Christ I am never without HOPE. I am grateful that this life on earth isn't it but while I am here living amongst the chaos and pain I must choose to have an eternal perspective and ask God to give me His HOPE! Will you do the same?
If you find yourself today without hope will you surrender your hopes, desires to the only one who can truly satisfy and give you eternal Hope??
May the God of HOPE fill you with all Joy and Peace as you Trust Him and LIVE FOR MORE today,