When we can’t see through the black of night, God brings us hope on dark days. We can rest in Him as we wait, knowing His love is unfailing.
“The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their
hope in his unfailing love.”
I was absolutely miserable. For several weeks my husband John and I had been speaking in Africa. It had been a tremendous time but now my body was shutting down. I was exhausted mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Stuck in a middle seat on a packed international flight home, I could barely move.
As I sat in my misery, I began to think about one of my adult children. (Our kids were all in college or working.) I had a sense of unease about this child. How was this child really doing? Was there a problem that needed attention? What if there were? As I considered my child, the more anxious I became. Fueled by exhaustion, a possible problem grew and grew in my imagination. What if…? Imagination led to near panic and a loss of hope. Thoroughly depleted I cried out to the Lord,
The answer that came was not audible, but it was abundantly clear and unmistakably from Him.
Two simple words: “Remember Me.”
In my exhaustion, my problem had become so big in my head that I lost perspective and hope floundered. The reality was that I had forgotten who God was. Forgotten how very much He loved my child and knew my child much better than I did. Forgotten that He was working in ways I could not see.
What I needed was a refreshment of HOPE.
Perhaps you too experience times when you lose hope. Most of us will, over and over again.
What will help us walk through hope on dark days?
1. Choose fact over feelings.
Our feelings are so unreliable. Up one minute, down the next. It’s too easy to let our feelings take on the value of truth. Easy to put our faith in our feelings. However, this will only cause us to sink. Our feelings have no real power except to emotionally mess with us.
God, on the other hand, is all power. Power to bring about change, to forgive, to lead, to comfort, to redeem… We must let our faith be in the facts of who our heavenly Father is, as described in His word, rather than in our feelings. Facts lead. Feelings fluctuate.
2. Recognize that God is working while we are waiting.
On a bleak winter day, there are no signs of flowers that will burst forth in a few months. But God is not asleep! He is working underground, providing just what is needed for fragile plants to burst forth in an array of beauty at just the right time!
Our God is not in a hurry. He is not bound by time. He does what is best not what is fast.
When we find ourselves having to wait it’s a good time to ask God to teach us something new. And turn our attention to His word, looking for a special message He might have for us as we wait.
3. Remember the story is not finished.
Elizabeth and Zachariah longed for a baby, but Elizabeth was infertile. Imagine this young couple’s disappointment and grief. BUT when they were very old, she became pregnant and gave birth to John the Baptist.
His coming had to be at just the right time, the time for the Messiah to be born as well. Many other events in the world had to be right for His birth. When Elizabeth greeted Mary, she exclaimed, “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promise to her.” (Luke 1:45) Their story wasn’t finished. God’s timing for their baby was central to His timing for the Messiah’s birth.
The stories of those we love are not finished either. We wait, resting in the fact that He is the God of unfailing love. (Psalm 90:14)
In His Word
Look up the word HOPE in the concordance of your Bible. Check out the verses listed and write out 5 that speak to you today.
In Your Life
Reflect on a time in your past when you were in a hard place and felt a loss of hope. Looking back now, how do you see that God was in that time? Write down some ways in which have you experienced His faithfulness in your life.
We pray that Susan’s books Risky Faith, Becoming Brave Enough to Believe the God who is Bigger Than Your World and One Devotional: One Word, One Verse, One Thought for 100 Days will give you courage and hope in your walk with the Lord.