The Lord is our Hope in Times of Despair

“As a drain that goes spiraling down into imminent darkness, so is the feeling of despair.” The worship leader’s words hung in the air. With a twinkle in her eye and a radiant smile, she continued on, sharing how her faith in the Lord and her focus on Jesus kept her from going down the tunnel of hopelessness, even though she has felt herself standing at its very edge. It is true. The Lord can save us from such anguish. However, for some, life happens and we do find ourselves in that dark and seemingly lonely place of pain and despair, spiraling down into that tunnel of darkness. We are all susceptible to our emotions, stress, and feeling overcome by life situations. BUT GOD. If we turn to the Lord, He will be our hope and strength. He will see us through the tough time. Our relationship with the Living God will grow in intimacy as we seek, rest, and trust in Him.

When we are in a place of brokenness before the Lord, His strength and provision become very real. When life feels like you are in a snow globe and you’ve been turned upside down and you are shaken and dizzy, not knowing which way is up, remember the words of Jesus. In 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 Jesus tells us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Being in a broken place before the Lord is an opportunity for us to truly surrender ourselves to Him. Sometimes life circumstances can be so overwhelming, we don’t know what to think, which way to turn, or how we are going to go on. It is then that we must truly trust the Lord in all situations, for His very best. For His ways are not our ways. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Have you ever been stuck in a loop of hardship that just doesn’t seem to let up? Sometimes it seems like trials of the same sort happen repeatedly. However, even in the worst of lives storms, the Lord has our very best in mind. Try asking the Lord, what are you trying to teach me? This puts us in a position of being proactive in our faith and learning what the Lord has for us. Embrace what the Lord is doing in faith, resting and trusting in Him. Romans 8:28 tells us, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Paul, after having an encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus was blinded for three days, but later radically healed by the Lord. He received his sight and was filled with the Holy Spirit. In Acts 9:15-16 the Lord, speaking to Ananias about Paul says: “… he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake. Paul went on to be a most faithful apostle of Christ, but suffered many hardships in life. He learned to be content wherever Christ had him, even in beatings, shipwrecks, weariness, sleeplessness, nakedness, hunger, and thirst. (2 Corinthians 11:22-28) In Philippians 4:12-13 Paul tells us, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who gives me strength.”

As a Christ follower, He is with you, always. “And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”(Romans 8:27) He will never allow anything to come into your life that He will not equip you to handle, through His strength. The God of the Universe puts limits on what we experience, and if He allows something harsh and painful, He has a very good reason and plan. Jeremiah 29:11 promises us, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” The pain and heartache we experience here on this earth are limited to just that. We are passing through this life, as sojourners for Christ. We have so much more to come! This life is certainly not the end all. Will we understand the why, on this side of heaven? Probably not. But, we must trust in the Living God who loves us more than any one person ever will. “The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice. Righteous and upright is He.” (Deuteronomy 32:4.)

During hard times, focus in on the Lord and remain steadfast in Him. “… acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you;” (1 Chronicles 28:9). It is important to continue in obedience to the Lord even through confusion, sorrow, and anguish. Know that the Lord holds you in the palm of His hand. Be obedient to Him in the small things of daily life. He will see you through. Even in times of sadness or loss, rejoice in the Lord always. (Philippians 4:4) We are to praise the Lord and give Him reverence no matter what our present life situation, not just out of our gratefulness unto Him, or because we are having an emotional experience, but due to the fact that He is Almighty God, Creator of all things! Jesus tells us in Luke 19:40, “…if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

If you feel you are struggling, be encouraged. The Light of Christ will lead you up and out of the darkest of places in life. Did you know that if you light a match in the dark, the fire has no shadow? So it is, with Christ! The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5) If you feel you have spiraled down that drain, look up and grab hold of the Lord’s hand! He will pull you out. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) The Lord is SO Faithful. Keep your eyes fixed on Christ. And when you reach the top of that drain with the Lord, you will have an incredible testimony of what He alone took you through, or delivered you from. Then you, like the worship leader, will have a twinkle in your eye and a radiant smile ear to ear, as you praise the Lord for all He has done for you! As you traverse the path you are on with the Lord, remember the promise found in Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

This article, The Lord is our Hope in Times of Despair is protected by copyright. It may not be copied and pasted in its entirety to be published or redistributed elsewhere without permission. This includes pasting an entire story to Facebook or any other social media site. Thank you. 🙂

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