Finding Hope in Difficult Times
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.
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).
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?
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).
In the meantime, the Bible instructs us to trust God and do good deeds (Psalm 37:3). God is trustworthy because He already showed 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 details 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). Michael W. Smith wrote a song about how we fight our battles with God; please see the video below.
God is on our side (Romans 8:31); therefore, we are victorious (Romans 8:37). I heard 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. Even though it seems like we are losing, we can have peace because we will triumph in the end.
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). ☀
If you would like to read more on similar topics, check out the following blogs:
* “Giving Thanks in Hard Times“
* “The Ultimate Guide to Beating the Holiday Blues“
* “Want to Stop Feeling Depressed? Here’s How“
* “6 Effective Ways To Manage Stress“
* “How To Be Happy Single“
* “Coping with the Death of a Loved One“
* “Family Feud? Here Are 5 Things To Do“
* “How To Avoid Resentment in a Midlife Crisis“
* “Why You Need a Therapist ASAP“
* “Mending a Broken Heart: 8 Methods to Ease Your Pain.”
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.
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