Finding Hope in Difficult Times

Coloful rainbow in a black and white photo

Dear Selfless Esteem,
I feel so hopeless about everything that’s been going on in the world. I’m frustrated by how everything has affected me personally. I’m saddened by how others are suffering. And I’m worried that things will only get worse.
Signed,

Losing Hope

Dear Losing Hope,

I think the whole world can relate to your dismay. In fact, the Bible states that all of creation is groaning (Romans 8:22). And you expressed that you’re wondering if there are better days ahead.🌤

Wouldn’t it be great if a superhero could come save the day? Actually, when Jesus was physically here on Earth, He had the power to fix everything. For this reason, the people back then wanted to make Him king (John 6:15). But He ultimately explained, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36).

Good in the Midst of Sorrow

Jesus acknowledged the endless hardships in this world (John 16:33). So why didn’t He resolve every problem? We may not understand why God allows bad things to happen, but “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).

Silhouette of Jesus Christ praying

Here’s an example of how God brings good out of calamity. Imagine how distraught the people, who wanted to make Jesus king, were when they witnessed Him being tortured and crucified. They probably thought it was the worst outcome ever. But that was the greatest victory ever because Jesus bore our sins (1 Peter 2:24) and saved us from condemnation (Romans 5:8-9).

Now it’s your turn to think of an example. When did God bring good out of difficult times in your life?

Perseverance

Silhouettes of 2 people running

If nothing else, the Bible says adversity causes us to develop perseverance (Romans 5:3). An analogy is athletes, who push through the pain of strenuous training, thereby increasing their endurance. However, we are not striving to obtain a temporary athletic award, but “an imperishable crown” (1 Corinthians 9:25). For more details about crowns as rewards in heaven, see this article by Arthur and Denise Blessit.

With perseverance, we “eagerly wait” for future glory (Romans 8:25). “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory, which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).

Trusting God

In the meantime, the Bible instructs us to trust God and do good deeds (Psalm 37:3). God is trustworthy because He already showed us His faithfulness by giving us His only Son. Thus, we can have faith like a child (Luke 18:17) and believe that He will readily give us all things (Romans 8:32) because of His unconditional, everlasting love (Romans 8:38-39). (For more information about focusing on God’s love, see the posts “Why Selfless Esteem Is Better Than Self-Esteem,” “The Real Truth About God,” and “How To Pray in 5 Simple Steps.”)

One thing we should not do is be afraid. As I mentioned earlier, Jesus acknowledged the endless tribulation in this world, but He also said, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). I recommend Michael W. Smith’s song, “Surrounded,” about how to fight life’s “battles.”

God is on our side (Romans 8:31); therefore, we are victorious (Romans 8:37). I heard Pastor Alistair Begg tell a story from his childhood during one of his sermons. He described how he was watching a recording of a sports event, in which he and his brother were rooting for opposing teams. When his team was losing, he became upset because his brother was taunting him. His mother, who already knew the final score, reassured him that his team wins. He used this analogy to explain that even though it seems like we are losing, we can have peace because we know we’ll triumph in the end.

If you would like to read more Selfless Esteem posts on similar topics, check out the following blogs:
* “Giving Thanks in Hard Times
* “Want to Stop Feeling Depressed? Here’s How
* “Mending a Broken Heart: 8 Methods to Ease Your Pain.”

You may also be interested in the podcast episode, “Living in Tension: Joy and Sorrow” by Abiding Together. One of the main points is about connecting with God during our suffering. The show notes even include journal questions.

Last but not least, be sure to take care of yourself during difficult times. See the post “6 Effective Ways to Manage Stress” for more details. God will bring good out of our adversity, both during our lifetime and “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet” (1 Corinthians 15:52). ☀

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version®. Copyright © 1984 by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

This post was originally posted on 8/27/22 and has been updated.

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4 Comments

  1. Michael

    “Do good deeds.” It can be uplifting to bring joy to someone who needs it. Great advice. And another great blog! By the way, I’m loving my new “Selfless Esteem” t-shirt!

    1. Gina Leggio

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying the t-shirt. And I’m even more glad that you didn’t overlook the “do good deeds” part even though I didn’t elaborate on that. “Losing Hope” mentioned feeling saddened by how others are suffering. You’re exactly right; it can be uplifting to bring joy to someone, who needs it. Thanks for bringing attention to that important part of the verse.

  2. TC

    This is a weighty topic. I like how your general advice is to keep our eyes on the Lord because without doing that, we can’t have peace or hope. Thanks for another helpful blog, Gina!

    1. Gina Leggio

      Yes indeed, keeping our eyes on the Lord, who is bigger than our difficulties. Thanks so much for your comment.

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