No matter what season we are currently in, all of us experience trials and testing in our lives. Change, loss, discontent, and more have brought many of us to what can feel like a breaking point. Yet, no matter our situation or season, God is always with us. It is He who allows us to overcome!
Join us as we discover how despair and other forms of negativity do not align with God’s plan, and how maintaining hope in God denies those negative attitudes a place to reside. Learn why you should choose hope.
Don’t Turn Your Back on God
There is a quote that, though from a work of fiction, is quite truthful. In the 1985 adaptation of Anne of Green Gables, the young orphan girl, Anne, who has come into the life of a woman named Marilla Cuthbert, says that she is in “the depths of despair.” When Marilla says that she has never been in such a place, Anne asks, “Can't you even imagine you're in the depths of despair?” To which Marilla replies, “No I cannot. To despair is to turn your back on God.”
Marilla’s reply is simple and direct, and yet, it holds an important truth within… that despair not only fails to honor God, but in many ways, is a rejection of His sovereignty. That despair sets us above God in our soul. Further, it leaves us adrift in a place no one genuinely wants to be.
Despair is the complete loss or absence of hope. A form of hopelessness that can overwhelm.
Yet, when we fix our eyes on God. When we know that He is real. We can not only choose hope and cling to it, but we are able to walk firmly in that hope. After all, when we look at God, we see His Light and find hope… but when we turn our backs to Him, what we see is darkness that allows hopelessness to sink in.
The tests and trials we experience, generally do not pull us quite so low as “the depths of despair,” but we all have fought to keep our face toward God. To see the future and the hope that God has for us.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”—Jeremiah 29:11
Hope in God Denies Despair a Place in You
If despair is apart from God, then despair’s opposite, hope, is of God. When we choose hope, particularly hope in God, we create a place for positivity. For a future in God that cannot be stolen.
And while despair may not be as common as anxiety, sorrow, discontent, fear, and the like, each begin to lose its foothold when hope is part of our foundation. When hope in God serves as an anchor.
“For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, ‘Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.’ And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.
“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”—Hebrews 6:13-20
We have a God who cannot lie. This is told to us repeatedly throughout the Word. Yet, if that were somehow not enough, we have testimony on top of testimony from Believers throughout the centuries. Of biblical prophecy being fulfilled in our own lifetime. Even our personal experiences with God in every season.
Yes, all of us experience tests and trials. Yes, there are times when the enemy attacks. But, through it all, God causes everything to be turned for our good. This is a truth, and one that we must stand on. Because we have a loving God. We have a righteous, just God. And we have a faithful, good God!
Hope is a powerful weapon, given to us by our loving Father. It is one of the three things that remain—faith, hope, and love. And when we allow that hope to remain to the moment of its completion… then it is like a tree of life!
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”—1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.”—Proverbs 13:12
Trust in God and Choose Hope
The hope God places in us through His promises and love does not disappoint. Every promise of God is sure. He promised eternal life to those who follow Him, and He continually fulfills it. He provided Abraham and his descendants with a covenant promise that has been consistently filled from that time, to now, and will continue.
No matter what God has promised. No matter the dreams and hopes that He has placed in us. He will see them through to the end. But there is a simple requirement. To face Him. To not step away from God by accepting the lies of the enemy that allow fear, despair, etc., but instead to stand in faith and choose hope. Giving God the first and best place within our hearts.
Trusting in God. Walking in hope.
“Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”—Psalm 31:24
“I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope.”—Psalm 16:8-9