Hope. Dictionary.com defines the word “hope” as “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best:” and “to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence.” There are many things we may hope for. Maybe that we will get a raise or a promotion at work. Or that our child will have a fun and happy birthday party. We can hope that a loved one recovers from an illness, or that a friend overcomes their addiction. But sometimes things don’t happen the way we want them to, and we can start to lose hope. Where can we find hope in these hard times?
Hope is an important part of our lives on this earth. Without it, we become depressed and bitter people. One of the symptoms of Depression is hopelessness. And that hopeless feeling can be ushered in by things like a diagnosis of a chronic illness, the loss of a loved one, losing our family’s income, or another tragedy. We cannot control or fix the problems we face, and we lose our hope. Those events and circumstances can take away the belief that things will work out for the best and make us believe that there is nothing to look forward to.
The question is, then, where can we find hope? Where do we even start to look? How can we hold on to hope when we are going through the hard things in life?
Find Hope in Jesus
The answer to all those questions is Jesus.
Through Jesus we find hope that no circumstances can take away. Through Him we can look forward to life after the pain and disappointments and struggles in this world pass away. In Jesus we find hope that our illnesses will be healed, either here on earth or one day in heaven. We have hope that all our tears and sorrow will be wiped away (Revelation 21:4).
Hebrews 6:19a NIV says “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Jesus is the one we need to hold onto when the hard times come our way. He keeps us from floating off course, like an anchor does for a boat.
David wrote several Psalms that talk about his hope in the Lord. I believe his words can encourage and comfort us even now. In Psalm 62:5 NIV David remembers where his hope comes from, saying, “Yes, my soul, find rest in my God; my hope comes from Him.“
We find another encouraging scripture in 1 Peter that says “Praise be to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,” 1 Peter 1:3-4 NIV Isn’t that amazing news! Through Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection, we have a living hope of heaven, and an inheritance waiting there for us. If that’s not something to look forward to, I don’t know what is!
Holding on to our Hope
Now that we know how to find hope, how can we hold on to it? Major problems and uncertain times try to pull us away and make us forget our hope.
One way we can hold on is to pray. When we are in communication and communion with God, it helps us to stay focused. We may start our prayers telling God about our problems, but as we press in He gives us peace in knowing that He is in control, He is always with us in whatever we face, and that our problems are only temporary.
Along with talking with the Lord, talking to a trusted friend can really help too. Hard times can sometimes pull us away from other people and isolate us. But if we reach out to someone they can help us carry our burden (Galatians 6:2) and encourage us in the Lord.
Another way we can keep from losing our hope is to make time for worship. Whatever worship looks like to you, whether it be creating art that glorifies Him, doing acts of service for His people, or singing worship music, set aside time specifically to do it. When we worship God He becomes greater and our problems become less from our perspective. If you prefer music, a couple of songs that I would recommend are I Have This Hope by Tenth Avenue North, and See a Victory by Elevation Worship.
Staying in the word in also hugely important to holding on to hope. The Bible tells us about so many times in history that God took hopeless situations and flipped them on their head, like the stories of Joseph in Genesis chapters 37-50, Daniel in Daniel chapter 6, and Esther in the book of Esther. It’s also full of encouraging scriptures like those I’ve cited above and many MANY more! As we read the testimonies of God’s people, and the promises He gives them, our hope grows.
Finding Hope Scripture Writing Plan
As a way to worship God and stay in the word, I enjoy scripture writing. It helps me to concentrate on and absorb what I read. For those of you who practice scripture writing too, I have created a 31 day scripture writing plan to help you find and hold on to hope. My site members can find this resource for free in my Freebie Library! To get access, all you have to do is enter your information into the “Subscribe Here” box in the sidebar! (scroll down past the comments for mobile.)
For additional reading on the topic of hope check out these posts and resources by some of my fellow bloggers: The Ultimate Mood-Boosting Playlist That Will Usher in Hope by, Milk and Honey Faith. How to Have Hope when Life Disappoints You by, Stacey Pardoe. When Hope is the Only Thing that will Conquer the Storm by, Lori Shumaker. What is Biblical Hope by, Sarah E. Frazer. And Jesus is Alive, You are Never Without Hope by, Unmasking the Mess.
Are you having a hard time finding or holding on to hope right now? Feel free to comment below, connect with me on social media, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be happy to pray for you and encourage you any way I can.
Do you have a testimony of a time when God turned what looked like a hopeless situation around? Or an experience with losing hope in your circumstances but holding on to your hope in Jesus? Please share in the comments to encourage those in the middle of the tough stuff!