Wednesday, 06 March 2013 14:39

A Valid Reason for Hope

Written by  Pamela Boswell
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In the counseling office we often encounter people with hopeless thoughts. As we face disappointments, losses, and fatigue in our day to day lives, we may occasionally lose sight of hope. It’s a miserable condition to be in, but one that “is common to man.” In Psalm 6:6 the writer said, “I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.” Sounds wretched doesn’t it?

 

So how do we restore hope? As brothers and sisters in Christ how can we encourage those around us with real and lasting hope? Using the Bible as our source here are a few suggested steps to follow:

 

 

Turn your focus to God---who He is and what He has done in the  past.

 

God is wise, He makes no mistakes. God is sovereign, ruling all of creation with perfect knowledge and absolute power. “Are there any among the false gods of the nations that can bring rain? Or can the heavens give showers? Are you not He, O Lord our God? We set our hope on you, for you do all these things.” (Jeremiah 14:22) God is holy and just, but merciful as well. “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:2) He satisfied all His justice for His people in the sacrificial life and death of Jesus. He has redeemed His people. “In hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began.” (Titus 1:2) God is faithful. “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23)

 

Make a list of a dozen ways God has been faithful to you in the past. Begin with remembering those circumstances he delivered you from that are similar to the one you are now facing. Praise God for His character and pray with thanksgiving. “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)

 

 

Remind yourself of God’s promises for the present and the future.

 

“You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.” (Psalm 119:114) It amazes me how many people that come for Christian counseling have gotten out of the habit of daily spending time in God’s word. To renew our minds with truth, to counter the messages we are bombarded with daily, and to be continuously filled by the Spirit, we must read His word regularly! “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)

 

However dire the moment may seem God’s plans have not changed and promises have not been rescinded. Imagine the thoughts of the disciples when the man they loved and followed and served for three years was taken captive, crucified and buried. By the world’s standards they had every reason to be hopeless, yet God’s plan of eternal hope was actually being accomplished. He arose from the grave. “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.” (John 16:20)

 

 

Remember that you are not alone or in a unique situation.

 

Others have been in this situation before and come through and so can you. We are here to help find the way out. It is written, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

 

Obey God, even when you don’t feel like it.

 

Sometimes you become so discouraged it is hard to continue in your daily responsibilities. Not doing them can lead to guilt and more discouragement. “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?” (Romans 6:16) Obedience will lead to better thoughts and feelings. “So that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.” (Psalm 78:7)

 

Spring is such a beautiful time in our area. New leaves appear on the trees, flowers are in bloom, fresh green grass is growing and birds are singing and active. Use this season as a reminder that the God of all creation promises to make all things new again. 

 

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by

the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15)

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 06 March 2013 14:42
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