Not Hopeless

28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31 but they who wait for theLord shall renew their strength;they shall mount up with wings like eagles;they shall run and not be weary;they shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:28-31 (ESV)

You are not hopeless.

Your situation is not hopeless.

Your life is not hopeless.

Your circumstances are not hopeless.

Now, here comes the caveat, the big “but”… Nothing is hopeless if your hope is in the right place.

Your hope is deeply rooted in your desires – your needs (perceived and real) and wants.  Some hope for a different station in life.  Some hope for change.  Some hope for a new job.  Some hope for children.  Some simply hope for the pain to go away.

None of these are bad things to hope for.  But, there is one overarching hope that needs to come first.

4  Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5  Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. 6  He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. 7  Be still before theLord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,over the man who carries out evil devices! – Psalms 37:4-7 (ESV)

Look at verse four.  The message is not that God will give us whatever we want.  Rather, when we seek God – when our hope is in Him – He changes our heart’s desires.  We begin to see things differently, more clearly.  We see that all is not lost.  We see that God has a far larger, greater plan, and our lives are but a very small part thereof.

I write this message today with a heavy heart.  Not over one person or situation, but because so many people I know and love are hurting.  They are facing trials and heartaches and problems that seem insurmountable.  Some are grieving a loss unimaginable.  Others are worried about the outcome of the day ahead.  Some need stability, some need work.  Some need healing.  Some are simply hurting and worried and anxious about life.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12, ESV).  Today I want to ask you – and myself: where is your hope?  Is it in a surgeon’s scalpel?  Is it in your 401(k) or the hoped for benevolence of an employer?  Is it in circumstances that are beyond your control?

We have only one true hope: God and His great love, mercy and grace.  It is in adversity that we find God.  It is when we finally come to the conclusion that this life is fraught with danger and pain and an appalling lack of fairness that we begin to see just how lost and hopeless we are without Him.

But… all is not lost.  You are not hopeless.  Your life is not hopeless.  The Lord is with His children.  Always.  Through the hardships.  Through the moments of pain and loss.  Through the fearful and worrisome times.  Through the hurt.  Through the darkest of nights and the valley of death.

We were never promised ease or comfort.  But we have the promise of strength and joy and hope – immeasurable and overflowing – when we choose to trust God and put all our hope in Him.  He will never leave you, nor forsake you.  You have not been – and never will be – abandoned.  Take it on faith.  Despite how you feel, God is with you.  His grace goes with you.  His love for you is beyond compare.

Seek Him first.  Latch onto God’s Word, even if it makes no sense or just doesn’t resonate in your heart. Don’t look at the storm.  Don’t stare at the waves.  Look to Jesus.  Focus on God and take Him at His word.  Rest in the Lord.  Find His peace.  He is our hope.

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