Sometimes we are full of doubt. 🧐 And we get discouraged. ☹️ Which causes dismay. 😕 Which can lead to despair. 🙁 Which makes us depressed. 😟 Where we can be despondent. 😒 Wow. That’s disheartening. 😯 And when we find ourselves dis-heartened we have no heart for anything. We have no hope.
So what do we do? 😦
First of all, we need to understand that this downward spiral is satanic. That’s right – of the devil – it is the father of lies who is telling you, there is nothing anyone can say to make you feel better; there is nothing anyone can do to change things. Which is just not true. So there’s that. 🤨
Secondly, there is a solution when we have no hope. And here it is: Be hopeful! Well, duh! 🙄 If we knew how to do that, we would not be so hopeless, now, would we? The advice sounds quite unhelpful.
But it is not. For there are steps we can take to become hopeful again. Seven things we can do to find hope, all in one neat little passage from Romans. Take a seat. Read this.
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instructions, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another in accord with Christ Jesus that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. . . . 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)
Let me break it down for you. But we will dissect this in the reverse order in which it is described. 🤓
Verse 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. STEP ONE: Turn to the God of hope. Nothing else will come close to filling your soul. After all – he is the God of hope, the king of it, the one who has a lot of it to give to anyone who seeks it! He actually says you can abound in hope! So go ahead. Ask for hope!
Verse 7 – Welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you. STEP TWO: Have a welcome party! Visit with one another! Be with people. You are not meant to suffer alone.
Verse 6 – That together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. STEP THREE: Turn to a godly friend who will help you stop believing the lies. Or turn to a Christian counselor. Together you will have the power to glorify God rather than be crushed by Satan.
Verse 5 – Live in such harmony with one another. STEP FOUR: Seek peaceful places and nonabrasive people to be with. They are a salve for the soul. Find the harmony.
Verse 4 – Through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. STEP FIVE: Turn to scripture. Read it; study it; memorize it; recite it. There is nothing more powerful than God’s word. It is the best place to receive encouragement and have hope.
Verse 4 – Through endurance . . . we might have hope. STEP SIX: This is the tough one. What you are going through, what you are enduring at the moment, is hard. But James tells us to let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing. (2) Become stronger in your suffering, not weaker. Grow (be mature). Do not give up. Do not quit. Consider yourself in a strength training class. Because you are!
Verse 4 – Whatever was written in former days was written for our instructions. STEP SEVEN: So here it is, written in former days long ago for someone else (Joshua) but still applicable today. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (3)
Could you ever really think that God would not be with you?
I hope not. 😬
(1) Romans 15:4-7, 13 (2) James 1:4 NRS (3) Joshua 1:9