In today’s society, the definition of hope is often misconstrued. True biblical hope doesn’t consist of any form of doubt, but total confidence in God. When we hope, we have faith in God’s capability.
Don’t get me wrong, just because you have hope and total confidence God will do something, does not mean He will do it, but hope is rather knowing that no matter what happens we can trust that God has great purpose. When our hearts are in the right place, our hope won’t be tied up in something material, temporal or superficial. Our hope won’t be found in something fleeting, but rather hopeful for God’s eternal work in us.
Our hope doesn’t come from bright, sunshiny days full of carefree pleasures to satisfy our heart. Our hope comes from God, when we thirst after Him for our strength and support through days that are dark and long. Hope doesn’t mean our situations need to change to make us happy, but we are hoping in God, knowing that He is using whatever we face for great importance. An eternal importance.
I’ll share five (of the many reasons) we can find hope in our situations, no matter how dark or bleak things may be.
1. This world is not our home
When life feels monotonous and days feel unendingly mundane, I find great consolation knowing that this world is not our home. The suffering we face here as Christians is only temporary. One day all the pain, sorrow, suffering and tears will fade away. Those who are children of God will experience the joy of living in a heaven where we will no longer experience loss, rejection, discouragement or pain. We will no longer worry what tomorrow holds. We will not be burdened by sorrow in our heart from our past. God will fill us with joy and prosperity.
I cannot even imagine such a feeling and long for it with everything within me. This world and the burden of living in a sin-filled society can bring such a weight every day. My mind is set by default to worry and fear and I yearn for the day to live in a paradise without the ache in my chest of what tomorrow holds.
In heaven we won’t dread another day, we will be enjoying every moment of being with the Lord, worshipping Him and using our talents to glorify Him and care for others. I cannot wait!
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
2. God is near
We all experience seasons of silence and dark days. It is in the valley that we can begin to wonder what God is doing or where He is when things get hard. God is never far away. He’s been by our side all along and will continue to lead and direct us, no matter how many bends are in the road. When it feels like God has forgotten you, rest assured that the God who performed miracles in the past is still at work, even though you may not see evidence of Him working right now. God is always working, and will never not fulfill the plans He has for you.
My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I too am working.
When circumstances get hard and nobody seems to understand the weight of the pain inflicted on your heart, God does. He sees the pain that cuts so deep. He was with you through it all, and never left your side. Even in the unknown of what lies ahead, He will continue to guide you each step of the way. You’re not alone, God is near!
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
3. Your suffering has purpose
Our God is a very intentional God. He loves details. You can see evidence just by looking at creation. Even the tiniest of snowflakes are so intricately and uniquely constructed. I like to believe the same is true for our lives too. God doesn’t allow us to suffer without purpose. There’s always reason for what we go through, down to the tiniest detail.
I’ve found that the longest seasons of pain and suffering provided the most intimate opportunities for me to spend with God like no other. Without hardships, tears and tragedy, I wouldn’t have come to know God like I have. Without fiery trials I wouldn’t have had to rely on God and experience His strength when I had none left.
No matter what we go through, we can find hope knowing that it is growing us to become more like Christ. Even in the most mundane of tasks, God is using it to strengthen your character and make you more like Him. No task is too small for Him to use. No person is too far gone. No suffering goes to waste. Each day brings new opportunities to grow and be shaped into the instrument He created you to become.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
4. God is making a way
It can get discouraging when we endure through struggles that won’t let up. When God leads us down a path that leads to a closed door, it can be difficult to remain hopeful. Even when we reach a closed door, we can rest assured God had great purpose for our redirection. When one door closes, God will help make a new way to continue to lead you. Closed doors aren’t signs of God’s displeasure, but rather His protection.
When it feels like our future is unknown and the road is unclear, we can rest assured that God is still making a way when our situation feels hopeless. God is capable. His plans may not be what we intended, but His ways always have more purpose than what we planned. Even in the bleakest situations, God is still making a way and is always at work.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
5. God loves you more than you can imagine
Sometimes this truth is hard for me to wrap my head around. I often feel so undeserving of love and it’s hard for me to comprehend how someone would love me when I couldn’t give them anything in return. Our earthly view of love often is based on attraction, appearance or what we can gain. Our society has watered down what true love really is, making it even more difficult to comprehend God’s love for us.
We can know God loves us, but if we truly understood how much God loves and pursues us, we would be incredibly amazed. He created you exactly how He desired you to be, flaws, quirks and all. He cherishes the time spent with Him each day and loves listening to your prayers. His plans for your life were intentionally planned for your benefit and He desires you to grow in Him.
How often I feel like God is trying to break me, but in fact, He desires to grow me to be more like Him. Sometimes we need to be broken in order for God to humble us and rely on Him for strength.
If you feel unloved, unaccepted and unattractive, please know that the God who created the world, created you for a special purpose and loves you just because you’re you. You don’t have to earn His love. His love will never cease and will never change. He loves you no matter what!