Someone asked me the other day ” how do you have hope when things look so bad?” A young woman I know has had a pretty rough time of it lately. Life can be brutal no matter who you are, but she’s had her share of troubles and I told her the only genuine, lasting comfort I have ever known and that is an eternal relationship with Jesus Christ. I have had my share of troubles too and spent a few long months as a young adult in lock down in a Hospital. I also spent a terrifying night and day in a psychiatric ward for drug addicts and the mentally fragile. Not a fun place to be and for many years these and other experiences haunted me. What was later diagnosed as Post traumatic stress disorder wreaked havoc on my jobs, relationships and my ability to function as a normal person for many years of my life. I had serious panic attacks often that started in my teens and eventually almost completely shut down before trying to commit suicide. I had gone through a lot of traumatic events at a young age and that combined with years of abuse took it’s toll on my mental state and I could barely function. Many years later I heard the Gospel preached and I was saved and my life changed radically. Overnight I had a profound desire to serve the Lord and follow him, and even though that is a process there was a visible change in my life. I was freed from so many of the emotional pains and scars and really healed from the inside out by trusting Jesus with the entirety of my life…and it’s miraculous to say the least how he has changed me. I was a shy, terrified mess…and I am a pretty strong person in Christ now and I am so grateful to God, only He could work such a miracle. I can cry pretty easily thinking about how life used to be, and I have often wondered why I had to go through so many of these things, but I trust God and I know he’s in control and that has given me so much peace.
While talking to this young woman I realized that God was using my past to help and encourage her. This woman was in the same hospital that I was, and she was just as scared and lost and confused. There were so many similarities in our lives and she told me she would have never believed that about me. That I seemed to “have it all together” and she had a hard time thinking I had ever been that low. I laughed that she would ever think I “had it together” and then God blessed me with the amazing opportunity to share the Gospel with her. I got to tell her that Jesus was the reason I had hope, and the reason I had the strength to overcome my past, that no matter my circumstances I had assurance in Him and that very faith in Him and learning His word had been the light at the end of my very long, dark tunnel.
I had prayed for a way to talk to this young woman for so long and even though I had no idea how God would do it, I knew he would provide me the perfect opportunity and He did. He used one of the worst experiences of my young life to minister His truth and love to this young woman. No matter the outcome, I know He is active and working in my life and His Gospel was shared with another hurting soul.
I praise His Holy Name…
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
- “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God” (PSA 146:5)
- “the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love” (PSA 147:11).
- “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (PSA 40:31).
- “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (ROM 15:13).
- “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him” (PSA 62:5).
- “May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word” (PSA 119:74).
- “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God (PSA 42:5)
- “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope” (PSA 130:5).
- “O Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption” (PSA 130:7).
- “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life” (PROV 13:12).
- “There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off” (PROV 23:18).
- “Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you” (ZECH 9:12).
- “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (JER 29:11).
- “through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Rom 5:2-4).
- “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (ROM 5:5).
- “in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently” (ROM 8:24-25).
- “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (ROM 12:12).
- “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (ROM 15:4).
- “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (COL 1:27)
- “a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time” (TIT 1:2)
- “Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged” (HEB 6:17-18).
- “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek” (Heb 6:17-19-20).
- “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (HEB 10:23).
- “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (HEB 11:1).