Do you ever find yourself in a seemingly never-ending downward spiral? Do you ever just wonder what God’s plan is? Do you feel like your life is meaningless and hopeless?
If you have, then be assured you are not alone. I have felt that way as of late…always wondering what in the heck is going on, how I am supposed to get through life.
The good news for you (and me) is that there is hope. Hope is found in Jesus Christ. He is the foundation of hope. While I am going to touch on my life in this post, most of it will deal with finding hope through Jesus Christ.
There are many areas of my life as of late that I have no idea how it will work out. School, jobs, relationships/dating, people I hang out with, and so on. It seems to me that all of these areas are out of control right now. I have no idea how each one is going to end up. I have finally come to this conclusion. Yes, they are out of control – they are out of my control, but God is in control. He knows exactly what is going to happen. And with that, I can breathe a sigh of relief.
For most of my life, I have been in control of any situation that I was in, sports, work, relationships, etc. I had built this self made box if you will, and everything runs according to how I want it to. It wasn’t until God tore down the walls of my self made box that I realized I don’t have to be in control – or more importantly that I am not in control. Within the last 5 months, God has torn down every sense of security that I have had in every imaginable situation. While it may seem to me that there is no hope left, I know that I have hope in Jesus Christ.
Without going into detail with the situations in my life, I will say that with what has happened to me over these past few months would have driven most people to the point of collapse; to the point of wanting to give up; to the point of utter despair. I am not saying this to get anybody to feel sorry for me or anything like that. I am just using an illustration to show how God can use situations in a person’s life to make that person reach the point of nowhere to turn but Him. I think that for me, this “breaking point” is the greatest thing that could have happened. It is exactly what God wants – for us (and me) to lose all senses of independence and be completely dependent on Him. We reach the point where we cry out, “Oh God, who do I have in heaven but You, who do I have on this earth but You!” It is at that point that we will start to grow and mature spiritually. I can honestly say that I am closer to God now then I have ever been in my life and I hope that I can say that every day from now on.
So I have been talking up to this point about having hope that is only found is Jesus Christ. Now the question becomes, where do I find this hope? This hope is found in the word of God. Hope comes through reading (although I take a fine line with reading as I realize not all people who have found hope are literate), and through meditating on the scriptures. Christ gave His life so that we may have the hope of eternal life. What follows now is a multitude of scriptures of where we can find hope in the Bible. I will be using the ESV translation through all of these scriptures.
Ps. 16:8-9: I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.
Ps. 31:24: Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!
Ps. 33:18-22: Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.
Ps. 42:5-6a: Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
Ps. 119:114: You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.
Ps. 130:5: I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;
Ps. 146:5-10: Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord!
Ps. 147:11: but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.
Ecc. 9:4: But he who is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
Jer. 17:7-8: “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. “He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
Jer. 31:16-17: Thus says the Lord: “Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears, for there is a reward for your work, declares the Lord, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. “There is hope for your future, declares the Lord, and your children shall come back to their own country.
Lam. 3:21-26: But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
Acts 2:25-28: “For David says concerning him, ‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.'”
Acts 24:15: “having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust.
Rom. 5:1-8: Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Rom. 8:24-28: For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Rom. 15:4: For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Rom. 15:13: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
1 Cor. 13:12-13: For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Gal. 5:5: For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.
Eph. 1:17-21: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
Col. 1:27: To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
1 Thess. 5:8-10: But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.
2 Thess. 2:16-17: Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.
Heb. 6:18-20: so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
1 Peter 1:13: Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 3:15: but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you;
1 John 3:2-3: Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
John 14:1-3: Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
John 10:27-28: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
Acts 16:31: And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Ps. 84:11: For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.
Ps. 43:5: Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
Ps. 52:8: But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.
Is. 12:2: “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”
Nahum 1:7: The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.
Matt. 6:33-34: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Luke 12:27-28: “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!
Ps. 18:30: This God – his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
Ps. 20:7: Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
Ps. 44:6-8: For not in my bow do I trust, nor can my sword save me. But you have saved us from our foes and have put to shame those who hate us. In God we have boasted continually, and we will give thanks to your name forever. Selah.
Phil. 3:8-14: Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith – that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Obviously that is not an exhaustive list, but just the verses I found through a word study of hope. We, as Christians, must totally let go of our own selfish sense of control and rely totally on the cross of Christ. It is only through this that we may have hope.
That is the “where” about finding hope. But what about the “how?” How and why do we have this hope? Here is why I (and you) have hope in Christ Jesus. I have hope because (paraphrasing Romans 3) I have sinned and fallen short of His glory and I am justified by His grace as a gift through Christ Jesus’ redemption, who was a propitiation for me and by faith I have received the gift – I do not deserve this justification, but it was given to be by the grace of God. Further, quoting Hebrews 10:10-14,
“And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”
And finishing with Hebrews 10:23,
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.”
I know that whatever my situation, I have hope in Christ. I do not have to be successful in the world’s eyes. I do not have to be powerful, or eloquent, or intelligent, or any other thing. Simply, I am loved by God (as you are).
My comfort, my peace comes not from my performance or what I can do for God. It comes from what God has done for me in the finished work of Christ.
Let me encourage you today that if you find a person who shares your Christian faith, encourage them in Christ as they should for you. This is a huge lacking in my life right now; I do not have many friends who share my faith who I can talk to. I am not worried, though, because God is in control, and I have hope in Christ Jesus. If you would like to discuss hope further, let me know.
– Adam Smith