A Promise of Hope
Last year, I focused on the word GRACE, and I felt like every moment I made a new discovery. Some moments proved encouraging and others challenging.
Regardless of the lessons I learned, I continually felt reassured and inspired. The process kept me motivated and excited to discover how God would reveal His grace to me each month.
This is year, I will continue to blog about a word that I feel God is leading me to explore. The word that keeps coming to my mind is HOPE.
I think the reason for this choice is simple because I find myself praying for hope.
Even if it sounds sad, it’s true. I need hope just to be able to hope.
In my mind, I know that God controls everything and that my life works according to His plan. But, allowing that reality to penetrate my heart is a battle. Pain stands guard, blocking the way.
I watched a mother bury one son, while her other son recovered from a horrific car crash and while she battled breast cancer.
I prayed for a young man, a diabetic since childhood, as he struggled to fight off an infection and maintain honors in college.
Unexpected deaths. Job loss. Relationship struggles. Health crises. Devastating news about my mother. It seemed like every day I received more disheartening news.
So, right now, I’m tired. Maybe weary sums it up better. And I wonder if this feeling will go away. Am I wrong for allowing these thoughts to linger?
I remember Jesus’ words to the disciples in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” He tells them of the difficult things they will endure as his followers. And yet, His words ring true right now, especially for me.
When I think of our family and friends going through their problems. I’m amazed by their dignity, strength, resolve, courage, and trust in God. Sometimes I feel ashamed that I’m inclined to become unsettled in my spirit and gripe about my circumstances.
I want to do better, but it seems like my health challenges (old and new) are coming against me in waves. Most days I wake up feeling overwhelmed, not knowing what to do, and doubting that I will make it through another day.
II Corinthians 12:9-10 is the normal scripture I meditate on when suffering strikes. Relying on God’s strength to perfect my weakness helps me to hold on, but I still need a way to reinforce my hope.
It feels like I’m in the middle of a dark void. I’m confronted with a new health challenge, and I don’t want it. I plead with God, begging for a reprieve. Is there a possibility for hope? A reason for me to put one foot in front of the other and keep going?
I admit, it’s a bleak reality to see my medical team’s stunned looks when I go in for my consultations. We are working together to devise a plan that satisfies them and accommodates me. I want to avoid invasive procedures, harsh medicines, or surgeries. Because of this, tests and appointments define my year, so far.
My greatest desire is a simple moment of relief. A single minute free of suffering. But, it never comes.
I’ve endured a lot, so I’m looking through some of my old journals to help me recall the numerous times God carried me; times when He answered my prayers in ways that seemed miraculous; and situations when I learned to trust Him to remain faithful to me.
I’m so thankful He’s never failed me, even when I doubt, fear, or complain.
Praying for hope is new for me. I truly believe God will never change (Hebrews 13:8). So, if He revealed GRACE to me in such dynamic ways last year, I can be certain that He will restore, renew, and refresh my HOPE.
In spite of the hardships, I’m seeking the Lord to help me keep things in perspective. I want to be able to see my life and these circumstances as an opportunity for His glory to be revealed in my life.
I want to declare enthusiastically, just like the Psalmist, “This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). I want to be able to take each day as it comes and praise God regardless of what that day holds.
But I believe there’s a lot of work for me to do before I can say that I’m content no matter what situation intrudes upon my life (Philippians 4:11). Honestly? I question how my hardships are building Christian character in me.
Then, in my daily devotion time, I read Romans 5:3-5. And there it is before me.
With a promise.
Can I trust in it? Dare to believe it applies to me?
Yes, because it is derived from the love of God.
Feelings of despair plagued me at the beginning of this month, but I have started to sense a change.
It may be small, but it is there. And for once, I consider that this just might be a year filled with HOPE.