I have been sharing about “Walking with God through Painful Experiences” during the past month. I really don’t want to leave you there but would like to shed a little light into your world and give you some HOPE to reach for.
For those of you who read my WholeHearted Mama weekly newsletter, you know that recently I had a subscriber giveaway. Entering the giveaway was simply replying to the email and answering some questions.
Several of my readers shared needs they have because they are raising children, loss of job, health, and challenging situations with their children. These are the things in life that can cause us to loose hope.
I thought it would be a good idea to end this mini-series with a look at the word ‘Hope’ so that each of you can find the Lord in your situation.
What Does Hope Mean?
When you can’t see your way because it is too dark, you tend to fumble around for your way. It can be a very insecure feeling.
In one sense, hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
I love the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary because it gives a depth of meaning to words that other dictionaries neglect.
Hope: A desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable. Hope differs from wish and desire in this, that it implies some expectation of obtaining the good desired, or the possibility of possessing it. Hope therefore always gives pleasure or joy; whereas wish and desire may produce or be accompanied with pain and anxiety. (1828 Webster’s Dictionary)
When I go through rough times, I am always thinking about how my situation will change.
If we had an expense that exceeded our budget, I am forever planning how I will ‘pay’ myself back. I am looking forward to when that strain on our budget will be past.
Looking forward and seeing the time when our situation will be different is what hope is all about.
Getting Caught in the Moment
When I was raising our children, I got caught in the moment.
Having all the children grown was an unfathomable thought.
Having a thirteen year old seemed to be in the far distance. Having a child who was twenty seemed utterly impossible.
Do you feel caught in the moment and a moment that is filled with stress and chaos?
You may be changing endless diapers, constantly wiping up sticky fingers, and once the laundry and dishes are done you are totally spent. You might even have a child who is resistive to your authority.
On the other hand, you might be working outside the home (I’ve been there too) and find you are losing hope in your circumstances. You need a boost!!
Do you feel hopeless? And here I am asking you to take a look at the word “hope!”
Job Totally Lost Hope!
This morning I read Job 21 where Job is responding to his ‘so called friends’ in another round of discussion.
Job has totally lost hope. He is constantly being discouraged by the friends that surround him.
They keep trying to convince him that none of the terrible circumstances in his life would have happened had he not sinned. They keep repeating much of the same verbal attacks while Job responds.
Job points out that the wicked are just as likely to prosper and live to an old age. He doesn’t understand why God is allowing these things and continues to place his trust in God.
Have You Ever Wondered Where God was During Life’s Dark Times?
You are not alone because this is exactly where Job was.
Job’s complaint was not against man. It was a conflict he was having with God. It was primarily spiritual in nature even though what we notice most from this story are the physical losses of possessions and family.
Job points out to his friends to LOOK at him and to see his distress and what he is going through. He wanted them to see what can happen to a godly man.
Job was questioning God as it says in Job 21:22,
“Shall any teach God knowledge?”
Job cannot understand why the wicked are not judged in a more timely manner. Job was clearly uncomfortable questioning the wisdom and knowledge of God and yet it seemed so unfair that the wicked got off so easy.
Neither Job nor his friends understood God’s ways.
We Don’t Always Understand God
We have very little understanding of God’s ways.
You might be going through a hard time right now and you can’t see your way in the darkness.
Even when it doesn’t seem like God is there, He is.
When life seems unfair and the non-saved are being given what seems like blessings, just hang in there.
What Job Needs to Do, and So Do You!!
Step out in faith and trust God in the darkness.
Here is the thing.
Our hopes are sometimes dashed.
We might hope to win a contest, or hope to have another baby, or to have a happy marriage, or to have our financial needs met, or to have health.
These earthly hopes aren’t always met the way we intended and hoped. They become expectations that sometimes are realized and other times are not.
There is one kind of hope that will never disappoint the person who puts their total trust in God.
That is to place our hope in Jesus.
Hope is an Action Step in God’s Direction
Hope is an action step that will help you step in God’s direction.
If you take a step in God’s direction, He will draw near to you.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, yousinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” ~James 4:8~
Here are Some Verses that will Give You HOPE
1. “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” ~Jeremiah 33:3~
2. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” ~Jeremiah 29:11~
3. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5
Here is a song written by Ron Hamilton and sung by Benjamin Everson that has blessed and encouraged me through one of the darkest valleys that I have ever walked through. I hope it will deeply touch your heart too.
Life isn’t easy and most of us face something devastating sometime during life. Look to Jesus and allow Him to abide in you, and you in Him.
You may read previous posts from Walking with God through Painful Life Experiences and find the FREE printables HERE!!
I am sharing my Job Study Notes on my Facebook WholeHearted fan page and I would love it if you stopped by and read some of them for extra encouragement.
You may download your FREE printable HERE!!
My Challenge for YOU! Download my free printable and use it this week to journal this study and be blessed with the Lord’s presence!!
I am Blogging Through The Bible with Good Morning Girls over atWomen Living Well. If you click the graphic, you will learn all about how YOU can also “Read Through The Bible” one chapter a day, 5 days a week. Yes!! You can do it too!!