Hope. Less?

Your life experiences make you who you are. The good, the bad, the success, the failure, the happy moments, and the lonely nights. All these moments help grow you and shape you into the person you are today. Nevertheless, sometimes when we look at the times when we were at out lowest moments, when we felt that we could not go on, when there was no hope in sight, we often turn to God and ask: “Why??” “Why did you let it happen?” “Why weren’t you there to protect me?” “Is this what I get for serving you?” “Where were you when I was going through the worst moments of my life? I couldn’t see you. I couldn’t hear you…”

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And it is at those moments that God turns, and says to His children, “In your darkest moments, when you turned to your left and to your right, and you still couldn’t see me… know that I was right behind you. I was behind you making sure that the stark realities of life did not break you, but that they developed you to make you into the person you are today: stronger, more compassionate, and more loving. I took the horrible things in your life and I used it to turn you into a precious pearl. It is because of your past, not despite it, that you are strong enough to take a step of faith wherever I lead you.

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The truth is, we live in troubled times. Marriages fail, jobs are lost, natural disasters reek havoc, and an uncertain future surrounds us all. And yes, it is so easy to lose hope. In fact, it’s human. Job, Moses, Jonah, Jeremiah, Elijah. All men of God, and all utterly hopeless at multiple points in their walk with God. Yet, consider this. Hope is defined as “expecting with confidence.” Likewise the biblical definition of hope is not a ‘hope-so’ but a ‘know-so.’  It’s the “assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hope is certain. Our hope in God is surer than the sun rising in the morning. It is more sure than cold in the winter and heat in the summer. When we read God’s word we can know for certain that we have a hope for the future. God will never allow us to suffer anything beyond our ability to handle it.  God will never leave us nor will He ever forsake us.  He is our anchor in the present, and our hope for the future.

Sometimes the only way to survive adversity and struggles is to just keep moving forward. If you can’t run, you walk. And if you can’t walk, you crawl. But you have to keep moving. God will walk you through storms, through trials, and through adversity. Storms never last, but people do. You will make it through. If you can hold on and get through today, God will give you strength to get through tomorrow.

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When we are God’s children, it doesn’t matter that we are not perfect. Yes you may not have the best credit, you may not be smart enough, nor have the best résumé for the job. You may be single, broken, and desperate for a companion, or you may be despairing of achieving your goals. But God will see you through—even when you fall short.

True love is this: when we come to God after we have messed up, and we are filthy, broken, and hopeless. And instead of turning us away as we deserve. God runs out to us while we are still crawling our way back to Him, and He lifts us up out of our filth and embraces us. He cleans us. He renews us. Yes, He makes us “new.” The devil tries to trap us in our guilt and shame, but our strength is in our Lord. In His forgiveness and in His love. Every time you lose something you get a little tougher. Every time you suffer a setback you get a little stronger. Your past humbles you, so you know that your coming success is not because you are so good, but because God is so great. People will come and go in your life, but God is faithful, He will never leave you. Don’t lose hope!

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