Tuesday, April 5, 2011
When Life is Hard: Overcoming Obstacles to Hope
Sometimes life can feel like a never-ending path of roadblocks. You can’t seem to get what you want or go where you need to go. Things seem thwarted. And you’re oh so tired of waiting…always waiting for something good to happen.
Don’t give up. And don’t let anyone steal your Hope! Because just like the pretty purple crocus' pop their head through the ground after a cold, hard winter, your life can bloom with new beauty and joy.
Yep, your life!
When nothing seems to be happening…
when you are tired of trying to make things work out on your own…
when you cannot see the way, hold on to hope.
The cadence of Christ is often unlike your own pace, but God is still at work in your life. “Hope has its own rhythm,” said Larry Crabb in Shattered Dreams, “We cannot rush it. The water of life will find its way down the mountain to fill the lake from which we can drink.”
If hope is asleep in your life, how does it awaken?
Hope awakens because God arises. Despite the difficulties, you have the strength to wake up and walk on because God arises first. He lifts you up; He helps you to soar above your adversity. Psalm 68:1 says, “May God arise, may his enemies be scattered; may his foes flee before him.”
At first you may think, “I don’t have any enemies.” And then it dawns on you that you do have opponents on the road to hope and healing.
In addition to the evil one, our main adversary, difficulties like worry, fear, doubt, rejection, obsession, anxiety are “enemies” as well. They can come at you with the force of an opposing army. But that's not the end of the story.
Hope awakens from unconditional love. The total and absolute love of God and the love of supportive family and friends can change us from the inside out. On this path of heart healing know that you are loved, cared for. You are never alone.
Hope awakens from God’s Word. “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4). What a blessing to have words of hope in our own language, words that will heal your pain-weary heart.
Hope awakens to God’s sovereignty. Perhaps one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that God directs and redirects. He is sovereign, He is in control. Even when it SEEMS chaos reigns.
Every morning the sun rises; every day the Lord delivers fresh hope. Despite the discouragement and difficulties, you can look back at all God has done in the past in other areas of your life—how He’s kept His promises and has been faithful to keep his word—and you can look forward with hope for good things to come in the future.
“Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:21-23
Fresh hope delivered daily. Count on it!
Jackie M. Johnson is an author and freelance writer in Colorado. Her hope-filled and encouraging books include "Power Prayers for Women," "When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton Is Empty" and "Powerful Prayers for Challenging Times." Jackie also writes the Living Single blog on Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk website.