I used to be afraid to hope.
I hadn’t always been like that. I used to be really hopeful, actually, but somewhere along the way, discouragement began to take over.
Hope opened the door to disappointment, and I didn’t want to be disappointed.
Worse, unrealized hope meant embarrassment, and I didn’t want to be humiliated or appear foolish or naive.
Consequently, when I’d feel hope rising in my heart, I’d squash it with force, asserting that I wasn’t negative, just “real.” After all, I knew how the world worked, how people treat others, how things never turn out the way you plan — or hope.
So one day I just stopped hoping. Or at least I said I did.
To be quite honest, on more than one occasion, hope crept into my heart and I silently entertained the excitement of what could be, though the “realist” in me kept hiding the hope, certain I’d end up disappointed in the end.
Hearing that someone has lost hope is sad, but what is even worse is when losing hope causes you to lose your belief. And it almost always does.
When we stop hoping, we stop believing — and somewhere in there, we stop praying.
If we don’t believe, we don’t pray.
Friend, are you there?
Have you begun to lose hope or did you lose it a long time ago?
Hope in your marriage or for your children? Hope for friendship or healing or in your family or your career?
I know this post isn’t for everyone, but I know it’s for someone. During my devotions this morning, I was reading in Romans, and Romans 5:5 stopped me abruptly in my tracks. I knew I needed to scrap my other post and write this one instead because I’ve been there. I’ve been in that place —unable to pray; unwilling to hope, and one of you needs this post, needs these words, needs this Truth:
“Hope does not put us to shame.” (Romans 5:5 ESV)
Hope does not put us to shame!
Paul tells us this in the context of walking through suffering and developing endurance, and he reminds us that when everything looks impossible, it’s okay to hope!
No matter how dire or outrageous, we can hope — and it’s all because of Jesus.
Romans 5 reminds us that when we were thrown out, pushed down, beat up and caved in, we were depraved and deprived and desperate and defeated, slaves to our sin, with no hope for redemption, God showed up.
In our impossible, desperate, hopeless situation, God showed up and redeemed us.
He redeemed us!
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
God showed us His love when we didn’t deserve it and couldn’t earn it. He showed us His love even when we pushed Him away in rejection and looked at Him with contempt.
Would you love someone like that?
Seems impossible doesn’t it? Hopeless?
But God did.
We were in an impossible, totally desperate situation. We were dead in our sins but were made alive again through Christ Jesus.
It doesn’t get more impossible than that. But death was no obstacle for Jesus. God is in the business of making dead things come alive — what hope!
God redeems us, and He redeems the impossible situations in our lives.
Because of what God has done and because of what God is doing, Friend, we can have hope, and hope does not put us to shame.
Have you lost hope?
Does your marriage feel dead? Are you in a situation where a solution seems impossible?
Have you lost hope for your spouse or a child or a relationship that feels out of your control?
Have you stopped believing? Have you stopped praying?
Hope does not put us to shame.
God can do more than we can ask or even imagine. He. is. able!
Because of Jesus, we have every reason to believe. Every reason to hope.
“But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those whose HOPE is in His unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in You.” (Psalm 33:18-22)
Question for you:
Where have you lost hope and how can I pray for you today?
Resources for you:
Whispers of Hope by Beth Moore
Glorious Ruin by Tullian Tchividjian