Pain, grief, and heartache. These are just a few of the things we wrestle with when we suffer something cataclysmic. Many times, the mental and emotional battle is the worst part! Feelings of defeat, emptiness, and hopelessness can easily creep in and lead to depression. So where is the hope? Where does it come from?
And how can you find hope in the hurt when you’re basically in shock? Here are 3 things that have helped me, and many others, find hope in the hurt.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
You do realize that you’re still alive, yes? I mean, here you are reading this and maybe wrestling with how to find hope in your hurt. Although your life may be forever changed, you still have life! Do you know that there are some people who walk around day by day without REALLY living? They float around aimlessly, taking for granted so many things or are completely unaware of what really matters in life. Here’s the thing: God isn’t done with you yet! And, if God isn’t done with you, then there’s more to come.
By the way, don’t forget that He works out all things for good. I know Romans 8:28 isn’t necessarily comforting on the surface, but it really IS a wonderful promise from the Big Man Upstairs. While I don’t know exactly what that looks like for you in this situation, I do know that God is good. He is an expert at bringing good out of the bad. Knowing in your gut that God is not done with you can certainly start bringing hope into your life for what is to come.
“I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”
Do you know how hard it is to stay down on life when you have a grateful heart? It’s darn near impossible! Seriously, try it! The next time you feel the cold grip of hopelessness (maybe it’s right now) start finding things to be thankful for. Anything that comes to mind…let it rip! Maybe it’s a home to live in, food in your belly, friends, family, a pet, your mind, clean clothes, salvation…just keep going. 10-20 minutes of this and your perspective will start to shift. Do this regularly and it’ll become a habit; a good one.
Struggling to find things to be thankful for? Look around and start picking out what you see. Say, “Thanks God for ____.” It seems silly, but it works. No, this doesn’t change the reality of your battle. However, it DOES help you to have perspective. I started practicing this years ago and have found positive change in my mind and heart. Maybe that’s why Ephesians 5:20 says we should “…always give thanks to God for everything.” Counting your blessings will help you to cultivate a mature, grateful and hopeful heart.
“Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”
Without a doubt, the more you look at what you don’t have (or the negative things in your life), the further you will travel down the long, hard road of hopelessness and despair. One of the most powerful ways to combat this is to be others minded. When you focus on others, you can’t be focused on yourself. And, you often will find the help you wanted all along while you are helping others.
Think about your family and friends. Does anyone need prayer, someone to listen to them, guidance, support, etc? How about striving to be a better husband/wife, father/mother, son/daughter, or friend? What about serving others in church? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that there are needs within your church that aren’t being met. Just ask your pastor or leader how you can help. Once you start moving forward, hope follows.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Some of the most hope-filled and joyous people that I’ve met are those who have gone through great adversity. Peter referenced “various trials” and yours will either make you bitter or better. Striving towards hope will help you acquire the latter. May you find yourself transformed as you: accept that God is not done with you, start counting your blessings, and begin looking for ways to move forward.Some of the most hope-filled and joyous people that I’ve met are those who have gone through great adversity.
Peter referenced “various trials” and yours will either make you bitter or better. Striving towards hope will help you acquire the latter. May you find yourself transformed as you: accept that God is not done with you, start counting your blessings, and begin looking for ways to move forward.
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