Life Lesson 37: Despite our best efforts, discouragement is inevitable. But having a relationship with Jesus Christ…
Life Lesson 27: Hope for me is knowing for sure that no matter what I may face each day, I can rest assured in God’s Word, which daily renews my hope as I trust in Him.
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
As we close out 2020, we can all agree that it has been a very difficult year. We have all been hit hard by the pandemic. Some of you have lost loved ones. You may have even lost your job or you know of someone who did. You may be battling the virus right now or at the very least, you know someone who is. There is no shortage of stories of how we have all been impacted by COVID-19. It is enough to test our hope–hope that there will be a brighter tomorrow.
If your hope is failing and you are feeling discouraged about the future, let me encourage you to renew your hope in the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3) who knows where you are and will see you through the darkest valley. As we feel our way through these uncertain times, let us find rest in the refreshing promise of God’s Word which tells us that “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence” (Jeremiah 17:7).
When discouragement comes knocking and the Lord seems far away, remember to take courage in God’s Word and draw from past experiences of how He previously worked in your circumstances. In times like these, it’s good to recall God’s faithfulness. Remember what the Lord has done for you in the past and let that encourage your hope. In Psalm 42:5, the psalmist said to himself: “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!” I am learning that when I send up praises to God, He sends down spiritual blessings in my life. Though my outward circumstances may remain the same. Inwardly, I’m renewed day by day by the power of the Holy Spirit.
If you are a follower of Christ, you are never without hope. You may be in the valley right now and this year’s challenges may have caused you to doubt God’s goodness and sink into despair. But although life may feel hopeless right now, take courage; don’t be afraid because you know that every step you take in the dark, the Lord, who is the Light of the world (John 8:12) is with you. Scripture exhorts us, “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you” (Deuteronomy 31:8).
As you step into the new year, remember, the Lord will help you to see your way clearly. The Bible tells us to “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7). Let this promise penetrate your heart and mind as you look to a brighter future.
Don’t forget, the Creator and ruler of the universe cares about you. After all, Scripture tells us His Word is a lamp for our feet and a light on our path (Psalm 119:105). That means, the Bible is our only reliable source of hope. Practice reading and making God’s Word a part of your daily life. Perhaps you could make it your New Year’s resolution to read the Bible daily for an entire year, and watch how it can change your life. But don’t stop there. Make the Bible your hiding place of rest and hope. No matter your circumstances today, you can find renewed hope when you trust in the Lord and seek after Him with all of your heart.
On the other hand, if you are not a follower of Jesus Christ, what is your source of hope when life doesn’t make sense? Listen, life is hard enough, and without Jesus walking with you through the dark valleys of life, it is even harder because there is no real peace apart from Him. When life takes you through the dark valleys, take comfort from the psalmist who said: “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).
In John 16:33, Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
In the midst of life’s crises, the peace of God rests upon those who believe in Him. Let this holiday season remind you of why Jesus came (Isaiah 9:6). Look to Him and let His promises sink deep into your heart as you hope for the future. May the God of hope fill your hearts today with joyful expectation for 2021 and beyond!
“Jesus gives us hope because He keeps us company, has a vision and knows the way we should go.”
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