Hope Restored

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values, Viewpoint

 
tulip-in-snow
Photo by Everyday Necessities
 
 
 
We live in a world where hope is so desperately needed. There is a longing and an ache in the hearts of humans to live with hope. It has been said, “A person can live 40 days without food… 3 days without water… 5 minutes without air, but not one second without hope.”

Whenever you meet someone without hope, you can tell that the life is sucked out of them. There are many factors that cause a person to feel hopeless. It can be a failure, a mistake, an unmet need, heartbreak, feeling trapped, and disappointments. Whatever the cause, it is important that the person gains a greater perspective or it will lead to apathy, emptiness, purposelessness, and depression, which will cause the cycle of hopelessness to continue.

The writer of Proverbs reminds us, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life” (Pr 13:12).

In the Bible, the word, “hope” has the idea of “anticipation,” “expectation,” or “confidence.” This is why it is important to know where we are putting our hope in because if it is in something (or someone) that is temporary, then we will experience disappointments. But if it is in God and His promises, then we will never be disappointed. This is why trust is very important when it comes to having a lasting hope.

The prophet Jeremiah reminds us of God’s word, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jer 29:11). God desires to give us His hope.

Max Lucado in his book, Let the Journey Begin: God’s Roadmap for New Beginnings writes about having our hope restored. He writes,

     “What would it take to restore your hope? What would you need to reenergize your journey? Though the answers are abundant, three come quickly to mind. The first would be a person. Not just any person. You don’t need someone equally confused. You need someone who knows the way out. And from him you need some vision. You need someone to lift your spirits. You need someone to look you in the face and say, ‘This isn’t the end. Don’t give up. There is a better place than this. And I’ll lead you there.’
     And, perhaps most important, you need direction. If you have only a person but no renewed vision, all you have is company. If he has a vision but no direction, you have a dreamer for company. But if you have a person with direction—who can take you from this place to the right place – ah, then you have one who can restore your hope.
     Or, to use David’s words, ‘He restores my soul.’ Our Shepherd majors in restoring hope to the soul. Whether you are a lamb lost on a craggy ledge or a city slicker alone in a deep jungle, everything changes when your rescuer appears.
     Your loneliness diminishes, because you have fellowship. Your despair decreases, because you have vision. Your confusion begins to lift, because you have direction. Please note: You haven’t left the jungle. The trees still eclipse the sky, and the thorns still cut the skin. Animals lurk and rodents scurry. The jungle is still a jungle. It hasn’t changed, but you have. You have changed because you have hope. And you have hope because you have met someone who can lead you out.
     Your Shepherd knows that you were not made for this place. He knows you are not equipped for this place. So he has come to guide you out.”

 
 
This is a good reminder of the importance of drawing closer to God during our times of hopelessness. When we turn to anything else (or anyone else) we will perpetuate the cycle of depression and confusion. What we need is to hear the Shepherd’s voice. The song “Still Small Voice” by Brian Doerksen needs to be our cry:

When I hear Your still small voice
Your kindness stirs me within
Lord, I need to hear Your voice
To lead me and break me once again
 
    Speak my Lord, I want to hear
    Your voice is all that I need
    Speak, my Lord, I will obey
    Your voice is life to me
 
When I hear Your still small voice
Your kindness stirs me within
Lord, I need to hear Your voice
To lead me and break me once again.

 

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