No matter who you are at some point in your life you will experience difficult times. You might suffer the loss of a loved one, have an illness, lose your job, have a broken relationship or go through a divorce. It’s so easy to be overcome with a sense of hopelessness.
Whatever you encounter, it is essential that you don’t lose hope. But, your hope must be rooted in something bigger than yourself! It can’t be dependent on a person or life circumstances. The object of your hope must be God alone! Otherwise, you will only be disappointed, and ultimately sucked into a vicious cycle which will lead you down a path of depression and despair. Satan is never happier than when he sees people giving in and giving up to despair and becoming lost in hopelessness.
Don’t let that happen to you. Be prepared for difficult times so that you are ready when they come.
How is it possible to not lose hope in difficult times?
First, what is hope?
Many people define hope as wishing something will happen. However, biblical hope is a hope of expectation, knowing that it will happen. You might even define it as an eager anticipation of God’s promise coming to pass. This kind of hope is based on knowing that God will do what He said He would do!
Where is hope found?
Again Isaiah says, “THERE SHALL COME THE ROOT OF JESSE, AND HE WHO ARISES TO RULE OVER THE GENTILES, IN HIM SHALL THE GENTILES HOPE.” Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:12-13
Before coming to Christ we were without hope (Ephesians 2:12). But now in Christ we have hope! Our hope is found in our love relationship with Jesus. As a believer we are never without hope! But that is not all, as we live a life of surrender to Christ; we also have joy, peace and power! (Romans 15:13) What more could you hope for?
Properly Placed Hope
God is the God of hope. He is the foundation on which our hope is built; He is both the object and the author of our hope. (1 Peter 1:3)
Trusting in God (Hebrews 11:1) by the power of the Holy Spirit we experience
- Joy which comes as we anticipate seeing our hopes fulfilled. Much like the excitement of a child on Christmas morning.
- Peace which comes from the assurance that God will do what He said He would do. (Philippians 4:7)
Hope that is placed in someone or something other than God/Jesus Christ is misplaced hope. It will eventually lead one into
Hopelessness usually doesn’t come suddenly out of nowhere; rather it is usually the result of a series of events in which a false belief system is formed. It could be something like “I can do it“, which leads to “I thought I could do it”, to “I can’t do it”, and ultimately “it can’t done, there is no hope.” Hopelessness believes that no matter what you do, nothing will change.
Putting your hope in yourself is telling yourself a lie. You place your hope in yourself, others or your circumstances rather than God and you will ultimately be disappointed.
Loss of hope can also result in depression. Depression can be nothing more than a signal sent by your mind telling you that hope was lost. Often if you find a way to restore hope your depression will disappear.
What do you do when you find yourself hopeless, depressed and in despair?
- Acknowledge where you are and refocus. Take your focus off yourself and look to God. (Psalm 42:5)
- Focus on God and the fact that He is your hope (Psalm 25:5) • Rehearse the names of God (Psalm 52:9)
- Read the Bible (Psalm 119:74, Romans 15:4)
What happens when you put your hope in God?
- You will have rest (Psalm 62:5)
- You will know God’s unfailing love (Psalm 33:22,2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)
- You will praise God more and more (Psalm 71:14)
- God will sustain you in the difficult times (119:116)
- Your heart will be enlightened (Ephesians 1:18-19)
- God will encourage and strengthen you in every good deed and word
Have you ever been in despair? The answer is simple. Quit looking at your circumstances and look at God. Go to the Bible for direction. Jesus overcame every conflict he had with Satan by using the Word of God. The Word is a door for those in the prison of hopelessness through which they can look, see the light of hope, walk out of darkness into light, and find direction for their lives. (Psalms 119:105, Romans 15:4)
When you are in a difficult time, remember: don’t lose hope. Hope is essential; once you lose it, you have lost the game. Furthermore, it’s your responsibility to not lose hope.
Depression is the emotional result of hopelessness.
Joy is the emotional result of hope.
Peace is the emotional result of faith.
Our hope is based on knowing God will do what He said He would do. And so we wait expectantly knowing that Jesus is coming back!!!