“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!" Psalms 27:13-14
Do you have any traditions that you enjoy this time of year? Last year my husband and I started a tradition on Christmas day of reaching out to a widow and finding a way to minister to her - whether that means helping her with medical bills, bringing her food, spending time with her, or something else. It was very special, and though it only happened once so far, I pray that it is something that becomes a family tradition for us throughout the years. Last year this woman we saw had no help, and no hope. She hadn’t eaten in about a week, she was sick and had not been brought to a doctor or given medicine, and she had no one around her for Christmas. This woman had lost hope.
Two days ago, I got a prayer request regarding someone in the US who wants to kill themselves. A few days before that on Facebook, I saw that a 19-year-old girl took her own life after losing all hope. It is devastating. This time of year is meant to be a time of joy, reflection upon God’s goodness, and inspirations for the next year that is fast approaching; but a lot of people are struggling through very painful circumstances, such as family problems, loneliness, financial burdens, and more. It is hard to look ahead when you feel there is nothing worth looking for. That is how many people felt in Northern Uganda during the war as well. As a result, the suicide rate was through the roof. Sadly, it is still high today.
People don’t have a will to go on when they don’t have hope.
This world is hurting. People need hope. Not a false assurance in a faulty solution or system, but a true hope, a confidence in something more than what they can see or feel right now. There’s only one place to find that kind of hope, and that’s in Jesus.
We will look at that more next week in part two of this blog post. For now, here are a few encouraging words:
Maybe your storm hasn't passed, the situation hasn't changed, the seas haven't parted. Who knows, maybe it’s still getting worse. But amid that storm, as you keep focused on the Lord and meditate upon His promises (read His Word, journal, pray, ask friends to share your burdens) you can change.
As you are consistent to seek the Lord, it will happen. You will wake up one morning and realize that even though your storm hasn’t changed, you have changed in the eye of the storm.
You're stronger than you were, you have inexplicable peace knowing that somehow God is going to see you through.
You have hope.
Even if everything still is a mess - you can believe in God. You can trust in His promises. You can encourage yourself that: My storm hasn’t passed, my circumstance hasn’t changed, but I have been changed. God is moving and using this to change me. Surely, He will see me through.
“My soul, wait silently for God alone,
For my expectation is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be moved.
In God is my salvation and my glory;
The rock of my strength,
And my refuge, is in God.
Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.” Psalm 62:5-8
What about you?
How was hope effected your life?
In what ways is God calling you to trust Him right now?
Think about two times that God has come through for you against all odds, or more if you want! I would encourage you to write them down. When you’re feeling hopeless, read those things and be reminded that God is for you and has a plan!