How to lose hope

dark_tree_walkWe hear about hope all the time. The biggest theme I hear about “hope” in pop culture is: Don’t lose it. You can google hope and you’ll find tons of beautiful quotes of not losing hope. But for every snappy quote or pop-psychology article, I still have difficult questions lingering in the recesses of my mind.

Where do you find hope? Why is it so easy to lose hope? Can we prevent losing hope if we have it?

I hate to admit that I’ve lost hope many times. But an amazing woman showed me some scriptures about hope and it helped me see some mistakes I have made in staying hopeful. This post is for those who feel hopeless sometimes or even most times. Maybe you can avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made.

Rule #1 for losing hope: Not growing through our suffering.

In Romans 5:1-5 it says that if we are suffering (which usually you are suffering if you are hopeless), than it can eventually produce hope. But it’s a process:

Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. — Ro 5:1-5

If we are always avoiding affliction (or suffering) then how can we learn to endure? And if we never endure through anything, can we develop in our character? The scripture says that these lead us to hope. It’s counter-intuitive though. Who wants to endure hard times? I spend most of my time avoiding anything remotely painful.

When I was in university, I had a professor who always asked us in difficult times: “What are you being called upon to learn?”

I hated that question.

But it’s such a good question because it helps me not avoid the pain. Rather see what good could come out of it.

Rule #2 for losing hope: Your hope is in the wrong things.

The following scripture shows is our hope needs to be in a certain place.

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people—the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel — Col 1:3-5

Our hope should be in heaven. I have often tried to stay hopeful that we can help more people become Christians here. Or that my daughter will grow up to do great things with her life. That my baby could be healthy and I won’t have complications during labor. Or that I could continue to have a great marriage. I have so many hopes! And it’s not bad to hope for these things. But when I store my hope in these things, these things I can’t control, I can lose hope if things don’t work out. So then what do I do?

I need to put my ultimate hope back in the right place. Because as the last scripture said, hope doesn’t disappoint us. But if we place our hope in the wrong thing, it can.

Our hope needs to be in heaven. Of course I will continue to hope and pray for the other things in my life that are dear to me but my goal is that I won’t be crushed if things don’t happen the way I want. Because my hope is in heaven, not in this world.

Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
they will be remembered forever.
They will have no fear of bad news;
their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD. — Ps 112:6-7

I know I continue to scratch the surface on many of these topics but these are little nuggets that help me.  I really hope (hehe) this post will make sense because as I approach my due date, my brain gets more foggy everyday. Pregnancy brain is real, people!
PREGNANCY BRAIN! (Modern Marriage Moments) from modernmarriagemoment on GodTube.

Hugs!

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3 thoughts on “How to lose hope

  1. I am finding that so many truths in the Bible are counter-intuitive. It always reminds me of when I learned how to ski as an older adult. When the slope gets steeper, the instructor said, you have lean forward more. Lean into the mountain, rather than lean backwards which is what intuitively feels like one should do. That ski lesson has reminded me so often of life when God is teaching me another truth through a hard time. Usually, the right & best thing to do is so counter-intuitive to what I want to do. Over time, it becomes easier to trust that it really is the right thing to do because I can now look to past instances when God has so faithfully brought something beautiful out of a difficult experience.

    I love your learning, teaching heart, Gina!

  2. Gina, thanks for your comment on my blog. I meant to tell you earlier that this post really encouraged me just when I needed it! The point about suffering leading to hope was very helpful — used it in a study later too!

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