Hope Amid a Landscape of Hurt

Hope is the greatest need of man. A man can survive for a time without food or water, but man struggles to move forward without a sense of hope in their life. Man assumed that hope would be ushered in with a new year and a new administration leading American politics.

Man was wrong.

The new year has simply brought new frustrations met by the same onslaught of bad news. Day after day it seems like the news on a national scale has been soaked in discouragement. The news in my own personal circle as of late has been filled with hurt as two people I know have died from COVID in the last week. It feels like all my hope is being chased away by the circumstances that are choking the life out of me.

As I Christian, I know that Christ is my source of hope and life. I can play out the verses in my mind right now. I know that, “In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” (John 1:4) I have recited John 10:10 to myself countless times, ” I have come to give you life and life more abundant.” The core of the Christian faith rests upon that fact, “that by believing Jesus is the Christ you may have life in His name.” (John 20:31)

Jesus is my source of life and hope. Everything and everyone else cannot come close to what Jesus does when it comes to providing me life-giving hope. Yet, why do I struggle so mightily to turn to Him when the wreckage of this world feels like it is choking me to death? How can I hope when I am bombarded by the hurt, distractions and brokenness of the world that spins around me?

In days like these, hope comes in the minute by minute reminding ourselves of Who we belong to. Hope comes by bringing our minds and our hearts before the One who is the Giver of hope. (Jer 29:11) It is our daily faith that pulls us closer to that hope. Our faith “is the assurance of things hoped for. It is the conviction of things I cannot see.” (Hebrews 11:1)

It is hard to have faith when darkness swallows up every minute of my day. When the world gives me a feast of discouragement, it feels like I only have a few bits of goodness to live off of. Yet, God did not cast us off without any way to cling to hope amid this landscape of hurt. As our ultimate hope, God has given us a way to hope, even when we cannot see it.

Know Who loves You and How He Loves You

Every single one of us wants nothing more than to be loved, but that is always a moving target in our earthly relationships. Our sins and failures hurt the people we love the most. Our failures only drive wedges in our relationships while the cancel culture ideals of the day scan our past for any reason to blot us out. The world does not love us – but the One who made it does.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved” ~ Ephesians 2:3-5

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

The love that God has for you is perfectly expressed in how He has made you spiritually alive by way of the Cross of Christ. Even when you still hated God and could not possibly save yourself (Romans 5:6-8), Jesus died for you because He loved you and wanted to extend the mercy of God to you. His love for you is active and His love towards you is unshakably powerful.

That is not a single event, action, person or power that will rob the love of God from you. Once you are a Christian, nothing will destroy or disable (John 10:28) that relationship you have with your heavenly Father. You being loved by Him is the most certain truth on the planet.

Hope Becomes Clear as Distraction Fades From Focus

There is a life-giving hope and peace that comes from knowing the Creator of the world loves you. It is an unshakable and unrelenting love that He has for you. That is something that you cannot preach to yourself day in and day out. It is a daily fight to preach to yourself the gospel love and glory of God. Yet, it is that daily fight to preach to ourselves that begins to fill the well of hope in our heart.

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.” ~ 2 Corinthians 3:18-4:1

It is this daily act of “beholding” that produces a transformation in our own heart. By preaching to ourselves the love, power, majesty and glory of God – we put into focus the most important truths of Scripture. By beholding, we are choosing to value the truths that we cannot see versus the discouragement that sits plainly before us. God transforms our heart much like the old hymn says:

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.”

By constantly feeding the hope of our heart by feasting on the glory and gospel of God, the bad news of this world begins to fade into the background. It is in this mercy of God that we are able to build hope in our hearts that flourishes in the face of our discouraging circumstances.

It is hard work to cling to hope and there is plenty of hurt that dots the landscape of our life to darken our hearts. God has not left us without a way to find hope, namely Him, in our daily lives. Sometimes it is a minute by minute, day by day work but it is one that is worth it. Hold on and hope on – God loves you. God is not done with you and the best is yet to come – to see the light and glory of His face.

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