Our Hope


It is a thick, heavy space, devoid of any joy or peace- the darkness of despair.
Despair, this guttural sense of pain and loss and fear. This place, so dark, that there appears to be no way out, no way through, no way over, or under. A place that feels as though it will engulf us.
But we, as believers, don't have to live in that darkness or be consumed by the heaviness of that space.
As believers of Jesus Christ, we are NEVER in despair.
Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:8, "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair."
When I first read that verse, I will admit it was hard to swallow. Hard to wrap my mind around, especially because I was going through a very difficult time when I first read it. When we are going through hard times, we may ask ourselves (or even each other): With all the troubles life puts us through, all the mountains to climb, all the tragedy in the world today, how can I NOT be in despair?
Here are three truths:
-In this world, and in each of our lives, there WILL be trouble and sadness.
-Despair means the complete loss or absence of hope.
-Hope means expectation: a feeling of trust.
As I have begun to get ready for the coming holiday season, part of that preparation is picking out which names of Jesus I will study and meditate on this year. One name that stood out to me was OUR HOPE (1 Timothy 1:1). Jesus didn't come here and die on the cross just to leave us in despair. He came to give us hope and life!
No, we as believers don't have to live in the darkness or be consumed by heavy space.
As believers of Jesus Christ, we are never in despair.
Why? Because in despair? There is NO HOPE.
Because my hope, OUR hope, is not only IN Christ. Our hope IS Christ.
I don't have the answers as to why bad things happen, except that we live in a broken world. But what I do know is this: When my hope is firmly planted in Jesus Christ and not in the world, I will NEVER be in despair. I may hurt. I may not understand. I may be frustrated. I may be perplexed. I may be a million things I would like not to be, but despair is not one of them.
We may not know what the future holds. We may not understand how we will get through the next day, the next hour, the next minute, but we can still be expectant. Still trust. We can be expectant, not of dreams and wishes, rather expectant that:
Jesus wins.
That God works all for good.
That as long as we are breathing God can use us.
That HIS plans are so much better than our own.
That God's promises are true.
That brokenness can be used to rebuild.
That in Christ eternal life is ours, and in that next life there are no tears. No sadness. Wounds are healed. Joy and peace abound.
If we have hope, and that hope IS Christ, we can and we WILL never be in despair. He will not let us walk in the thick heaviness of darkness. There will be light in the most difficult of situations. There will be peace and joy amidst times of great loss and sadness.
May the hope that is Jesus Christ fill your heart.

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