There is Hope Where You Are

There is Hope Where You Are

I Peter 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

There is hope where you are.

Anxiety may feel like it has destroyed hope. Worry seems to consume our souls so completely that we honestly believe there is no hope left. Depression can convince us that the darkness we see all around us is all that there is.

But God gave us light.

John 8:12
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Just like storm clouds can only block us from seeing sunlight, despair can only block us from seeing the light of Jesus, which is life and hope.

Titus 3:7
so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

When we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we became heirs of God and have the hope of eternal life. Depression can’t change that fact. Anxiety and worry can’t drag us out of our inheritance.

All the symptoms can do is cover up the truth that is in us. And God’s Word is the tool He gave us to uncover that truth.

I John 3:19-20
This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

How often has my own heart condemned me for not being good enough. “I’m worthless,” it says. “I’m a burden on everyone around me, especially those who love me.” “The best thing I can do for those I love is to leave and never come back.”

Not true.

Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

We are God’s masterpiece. He created us to bless the world around us, especially those closest to us.

But what if I’ve blown it? God may have created me as a gift to the world, but pain and sorrow have crushed me into so much garbage. Now all I do is take up space that would be better used for someone else because I stink!

Wrong.

There is hope where you are.

If pain has crushed you, then you’re lying crushed in the hand of the Father.

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you;
  do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Rest in His hand. He will hold you while you rest. He will hold you while you try to figure out what to do next. He will hold you while you wonder if you’ll ever be whole again.

If fear and worry have backed you into a corner and you’ve closed your eyes in despair, He’s in that corner with you, holding your hand.

Jeremiah 29:11
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.

This is a well-known verse. It’s so well-known, that it’s easy to dismiss as cliché. Yeah, yeah, God has plans for me. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

But that’s not all God is saying here.

Jeremiah 19:12-13
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

When God tells us that He has a future for us, it’s an invitation for us to come to Him. He gives us the hope that we may not have in the moment, and He gives it to us so that we have the strength to reach out to Him for help.

Because when I’m crushed or cornered, I don’t have the strength to reach out for help. So God reaches out to me and gives me that strength – in the form of hope.

He doesn’t ask me to fight my way out of the corner. He doesn’t tell me to, “pull myself together.” He says, “I am here and I can help you.” He reaches out to me first.

Matthew 11:28
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

I’ve been at the bottom of the pit of depression. What changed my life was that when I was there, when I’d given up all hope of ever climbing out of the pit, I looked over and saw that Jesus was sitting there beside me. He wasn’t pushing me to climb out of the pit. He wasn’t cheering me on with motivational messages.

He was just sitting beside me. And He told me that if I stayed in the pit for the rest of my life, He’d be there right beside me the whole time. Loving me.

And I could rest. I could rest in the bottom of the pit of despair and depression, because Jesus was beside me. I stopped fighting and rested in Him. And while I rested in Him and looked at Him, the world slowly changed around me. The pit faded and I was back in the “real world.”

But this time, I was in the “real world” with Jesus by my side. So the next time I was sucked into the swirling vortex of despair and ended up at the bottom of the pit, I knew He was right there with me. And each time it happened, because it happened many more times over the years, I quit fighting sooner. I remembered sooner each time that Jesus was in the pit with me. And each stay in the pit was a little bit shorter than the last.

This gave me hope.

Psalm 42:5
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
  Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
  for I will yet praise him,
  my Savior and my God.

Hope kept me going until I could eventually praise God. And praising Him changed my perspective and opened the door for faith.

How has God shown you His light and hope when your world was dark?

Photo Credit: Huber_Alexander

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