Hope!

hope4I met with a friend who is struggling with a major setback in his life. Right now he is up to his eyeballs in pain, confusion and doubt. As I reflected on our conversation, I recalled a time in my life when I pretty much felt the same way. Although the human journey is unique for each of us, more often than not, it is composed of some shared twists and turns.

Unfortunately, one of the common ingredients is the absolute certainty of anguish along life’s way.  I’m reminded of the words from the prophet Jeremiah in the Old Testament.   Here was a guy whose life was in a tailspin of gargantuan proportions.  For my money he got the blue ribbon for his description of pain when he penned these words: “Peace has been stripped away, and I have forgotten what prosperity is. I cry out, ‘My splendor is gone! Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!’ The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words.”  Lamentations 3:17-19 (NLT)

At the time Jeremiah had seemingly lost it all. He had gone from a hero to a zero. There was a time in my life when I felt the same way.  I expect you can also recall a similar feeling. Each of us has had fingernail days in which we were barely hanging on. In fingernail days there is little hope, but enormous misery. Yet, as Jeremiah was hanging there twisting in the wind God spoke to him some of the most inspiring words ever uttered. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope”.  Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) 

 Are we going to face times of trial, difficulty, pain, and sorrow?  Yep! You can book it!  Are there going to be occasions when you doubt God’s love? Yes, I’m afraid so.  Are there going to be stretches when we feel hopeless?  I hope not, but honesty requires me to say “yes”; some of us may experience hopelessness even today.  Does our hopelessness have to destroy us?   Not at all. I can tell you from my personal experience that hopelessness is never infinite nor does it have to kill you. And it won’t if you are willing to do two things. Do not isolate.  Talk to people, tell them how you are feeling. Tear down your walls. Let them see you; let them love you. Secondly, write that verse down on something and you take it with you everywhere you go.  And never forget it it’s a verse about you.  God has a future and hope for you!

Something to Think About

© 2015 John Gouldener All Rights Reserved

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