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People who see no hope can feel frustrated, discouraged, heartsick, anxious, stressed, and angry. As a person is beaten down further and hope ebbs away, this may turn into giving up, listlessness, lifelessness—just going through the motions. … God understands our feelings of being overwhelmed. He showed that by recording the thoughts and prayers of others who have experienced these emotions… God hears these cries, and “He shall regard the prayer of the destitute, and shall not despise their prayer.”1 …
Jesus Christ’s life and death opened the door to real hope for a meaningful life now, and an abundant and joyous life for eternity! Giving this hope was so important to God that He was willing to sacrifice His Son to make our rescue possible. Jesus Christ’s life and death opened the door to real hope for a meaningful life now, and an abundant and joyous life for eternity!
In the meantime, in the midst of the troubles of this life, the apostle Paul tells us that God is “the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”2
How can we discover and claim this hope and comfort that God promises? We can follow the example of those depicted in Psalm 107. This song recounts the troubles of all kinds of people bereft of hope, from those wandering in the wilderness, to prisoners, to those drawing near the gates of death. In each case, “They cried out to the Lord in their trouble” and He delivered them.3 God knows our troubles, but He wants us to come to Him and ask for His help and relief. He wants us to recognize the true source of help and our only real hope.
Paul put it this way: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”4 …
When we have experienced God’s hope and help, we will also want to help share that hope. That is the essence of why God’s Church is so zealous to proclaim the gospel—the good news—of God’s plan and His coming Kingdom.
The state of the world today can look hopeless. Our individual lives can be overwhelmed with hopelessness. But there is a God, and He truly loves us and offers us real hope. Without God, there is no hope. But with Him there is a solid hope that can serve as “an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.”5—Mike Bennett6
Our present help in time of need
Our heart searches for comfort during a difficult situation. As we get torn by a lack of hope for the future and feel utterly helpless, we need someone to comfort us and give us new hope. Amid the storm, Jesus can fill our hearts with calmness and comfort. For example, sickness can touch our bodies. But God can stop [our troubles] from touching our hearts and mind. Our mind can still remain calm and at peace amid the storm. …
The Bible says, “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”7
God always provides a way to come out of difficult situations. He opens new doors. What we cannot see, Jesus can see. What we cannot logically perceive, God can explain for us. …
Ask Him to speak to you and comfort you. He is a way maker. He will show you a way forward in your life. He can give hope amid a hopeless condition.
All of us go through difficulties in life. None can say their life is without trouble and will continue to stay out of trouble. Independent of whether we are rich or poor, educated or uneducated, we all will hit hard times in life. But the God who created us will be with us during our happy times and during times of sorrow. He will hold our hands and walk with us if we allow him to do so. He knows how to lead us. He can give the right words to speak and help us make the right choices. Jesus can fill us with wisdom and help us manage our difficult times. …
God says in the Bible, “If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you.”8 Jesus is standing right next to you. He wants to listen to your prayers and answer them. He wants to wipe away the tears. He loves us as we are. Those who seek Him will find Him. He will never ignore our humble prayers. …
God will surely wipe away all your tears. He will surely give you new hope in life.—Believe Him.org9
Standing on His promises
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world.”—2 Peter 1:3–410
The Lord’s promises are a source of great hope—His Word that never fails. His promises and their fulfillment are a manifestation of His love for us.
It’s wonderful to study and stand on the Lord’s promises. Since He’s given so many promises throughout the Bible for our future, it’s easy to get familiar with His words, or to even look at some of His promises as just nice pretty words, or perhaps even powerful words, but not for today and not for us personally. And yet, as we have all experienced at different points in our lives for the Lord, we discover that the Lord really comes through for us as we trust in Him and His promises.
The Lord has called each of us to His kingdom for such a time as this. No matter how you feel, or what your gifts are or aren’t, you are meant to be here on this earth at this time. You’re valuable to the Lord and His work and His plans for the future. What you have to offer and contribute, and the way that you’re going to shine His light, is going to make a difference.
No matter what challenges or tests you may face, you may be tempted to be discouraged or lose hope, but just remember, God’s Word never fails. You are called, and chosen by Jesus Himself, and that is cause for praise and joy! It’s good to keep this in mind when we face problems and obstacles, and pain and suffering in life, which of course we will.
“Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.”11 You may go out with tears of sacrifice, but you will come back rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves. Sacrifice may be a big part of what it’s going to take to bring in the sheaves, and as we all know, making sacrifices isn’t easy. In the midst of all your sacrificing and your patience, and even through all your tears, think about what you’re paving the way for—the gathering of the sheaves. It’s an eternal, world-changing, glorious cause, and we’ll be forever grateful and honored that we played a part in fulfilling it.
No matter how hard today is, it will be worth it all someday. We’re going to be so glad that we were Jesus’ love “bound in shoe leather” for the lost.
You know the Lord will come through for you, but He doesn’t do everything right away, all at once. He knows when we need to abound and when we need to abase. He knows when we need to endure and stand on His promises by faith. He works with us in His great wisdom and love.
We all go through times when we feel like the burdens are too heavy, and we’re weighed down and tired. That’s human and natural. At such times, though, we can stand on His promises to invigorate our spirits and to make our burdens lighter. He has promised, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”12—Maria Fontaine
Published on Anchor October 2022. Read by Jerry Paladino.
Music by Michael Dooley.
1 Psalm 102:17.
2 2 Corinthians 1:3–4.
3 Psalm 107:4–6, 13, 19.
4 Philippians 4:6–7.
5 Hebrews 6:19.
7 Isaiah 43:2 NLT.
8 Jeremiah 29:13–14 NLT.
11 Psalm 126:6 NIV.
12 Matthew 11:28–30 ESV.