Hope When in Despair

Today’s Bible Journaling comes from Psalm 42:5, “Why my soul, are you so dejected? Why are you in such turmoil? Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him, my Savior and my God.” (CSB) Especially the way this year has gone, people seem to have lost hope. With a pandemic, wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and all sorts of other issues going on, the world seems to be falling apart. Even Believers seem to walk around in a cloud of doom.

As Believers, we must remember that despite what we see going on around us, there is hope. That hope comes from the Lord Jesus Christ. He is our hope! We not only have a hope spiritually, but He also gives us hope in our daily circumstances. Yesterday during our Wednesday night service, one of the pastors of our church spoke on “God Has a Plan and He’s Working on it!” Even though it looks like the world is falling apart, God has a plan, and that plan is going forward. God is our source of hope, God gives us hope, and we can rest in that hope knowing that He has everything under control. He knows the plan, He knows the end from the beginning, and He is making sure that His plan will end in the way He has planned.

Spiritually, our hope is found in the salvation that was bought and paid for by Jesus when He died on the cross, was buried, resurrected, ascended to the Father, and has promised to come again to take His own to live with Him. That is the hope of eternal life! The hope that our sins are forgiven, and we are counted as children of God.

In the natural, we can have hope in God because we know He has our very life in His hands. He controls everything that happens. He may not tell us what His plan is for us, and most of the time, that is the case. But we know we can trust Him because He is faithful to keep His promises. (1 Corinthians 1:9, Hebrews 10:23)

Many have faced unfathomable heartache this year, and if we look at things in the natural, it looks like it will never get any better. But we need to look at the situation and what is going on in the world, with spiritual eyes. We need to see what God sees. My husband always tells me, “Big God, little problem!” Nothing going on is so huge that God cannot, and does not become overwhelmed, like us. He’s a big God and He can handle anything that comes along. The year 2020 did not come to Him as any big surprise, and He isn’t wringing His hands wondering what to do. It is all under His control.

So, when we are feeling as the Psalmist, in despair, detected, our hearts are cast down, what is the solution? The Psalmist says we are to put our hope in God and praise Him! Yes, praise Him, even when it seems the world is crashing down around our ears. We are to praise Him. You say, “Praise Him for chaos, praise Him for death and destruction, praise Him for loss of income, praise Him when my world is turned upside down?” Yes, praise Him. I know that sounds illogical, but when we praise God in the middle of our trials, it causes several things to happen. It changes our outlook on the situation, and as we praise God in the middle of despair, our attitude toward what is happening changes and increases our faith. Sorrow isn’t as deep, it may still be there, but God gives us peace and comfort, and we realize we can lean on Him through it all. God promises that He will always be with us, so we do not go through the trial alone! (Hebrews 13:5)

As this year draws to a close, let us remember to give God praise, to trust Him, and to rest in the knowledge that He has everything under control, and everything is going according to plan. He has a plan for each one of us, it is a good plan, and it is a plan for our good! So, why not praise Him? Why not trust Him? Hope in God!

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