In my last article, I shared that my husband and I arose out of a period of great financial stress and pressure. We could have rationalized and explain that our original poor financial situation was caused by uncontrollable circumstances such as my health and my husband’s low wage income. And many people looking at us from the outside would sympathize and agree with that assessment. But if my husband and I held on to that superficial argument, we would have remained stuck and it would have rendered us immobile to change. Although, blaming outside circumstances could be justifiable, my husband and I preferred to take full responsibility. We knew that the majority of our problems was our own lack of discipline, wisdom, and prudence. Plainly said, we lived beyond our means, didn’t take advantage of opportunities, and didn’t prepare for hard times. Yet with all our mistakes, we used them as stepping stones to learn from. We chose to change our damaging, yet comfortable, patterns of handling money. The first steps to recovery or getting out of our self-inflicted mess was admitting the hard truth and then leaning on hope.
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. Psalm 42:5; 42:11
Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. Psalm119:116
Without hope, you cannot move forward. Hope is about the future. Hope is the fuel to keep going and pressing on. Hope gives us ideas and strategies. It strengthens us and lessens our fears. The Bible says that there is no hope if everything is well and we have it all together. No, we hope in the midst of chaos and uncertainty. We don’t see a resolution yet, but we wait with patience for it to come to pass. Hope gets us moving and out of whatever negative circumstance we are in. It empowers us to change and take action.
For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Rom 8:24-25
Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD. Psalm 31:24
Dealing with cancer three times, I have had to rely on hope to keep my spirits up and maintain my motivation to keep fighting. The following is an excerpt from my soon to be released book, “My Faith Has Found a Resting Place”, about my 16-year cancer journey.
Hope is a powerful motivation to persevere and it keeps your emotions in check when you are going through trials and difficult circumstances. It takes you away from your present circumstances to a place where there is peace and comfort- where all is well. You can endure the temporary distress because you know in your heart that God will walk through the valley of the shadow of death with you and take you to the other side. Throughout my cancer journey, hope has sustained me, and it overpowered the temptation to stay and live in fear, doubt, and unbelief. Was I afraid? Did I have doubts? Oh yes, I did, but I didn’t stay in unbelief long. An overwhelming sense of hope would come to the rescue and wash over me like a gentle wave bringing peace and sanity calming the crashing constant heavy waves of crushing pressure and anxiety. Hope is a powerful aid from God to help in fighting cancer and any other trial in life.
I heard Joni Eareckson Tada, a quadriplegic for over 30 years, once say, “Hopelessness is the most despairing of conditions.” Her point was that without hope where do we go or what do we do? Hopelessness is more despairing than cancer or a financial crisis.
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. Jer. 17:7
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: Romans 5:2-4
Where do we get everlasting hope from or how do we grow in hope, you may ask? Well, as trite or simplistic as my answer may be, it is the only one I know. That is, hope is found in Christ and His word – the Bible. Meditating on scripture and encouraging yourself through God’s promises builds hope. The Bible says that the experiences of others who have overcome brings comfort.
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Rom15:4
Hope, however, is fragile. Bad news, one more disappointment, someone’s negative energy or reaction, can zap or take away what little bit of hope your holding on to. Be careful and fight the distractions that want to pull us down or bring us back into negativity and despair. Pride also can be a stumbling block to moving forward or seeing any possibility of resolution. Pride keeps us stuck in our position because we won’t move and humble ourselves and seek help. Our own pride blinds us to see our disastrous or ruinous condition so we don’t see a way out to make a change. Don’t allow your hope to be destroyed by these things. Hold onto to hope desperately for dear life. The devil wants to take away our hope and keep us in despair. Let hope be your strong anchor.
Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Heb. 6:19
If we are to get out of the financial doldrums and see clearly, we need to know deep down inside that things will change. Our present situation will not always be the same. If Christ is for us, who can be against us. We also must be willing to do whatever it takes to change ourselves first and then our circumstance. That is hope. Persevere! Don’t give up before the victory!