Finding Hope Series Pt 2

Part 2: God's Promises of Hope
As mentioned in the previous blog, Finding Hope: A Series on Overcoming Struggles, Christians cannot take a “head in the sand” approach to the mental state of others because of the profound impact it has not only on the individual, but also impacts the lives of those around us. For many people, struggling with emotional challenges can feel overwhelming and isolating, but it is important to remember that we are not alone in our struggles. The good news is that there is hope. As Christians, we have access to God's promises of hope, which can help us find peace and strength in difficult times.
We find our answers in God’s Word, which is powerful, enduring, and essential for our growth in faith and understanding of God's will. His enduring Word is a source of hope and comfort for those who are struggling with issues. Moreover, the Bible is filled with promises of hope that can help us navigate the difficulties of life, and our journey to healing starts with God’s promises. However, in order to appropriate these promises, we must start with faith – we must believe in Him and His Word. As Romans 10:17 tells us, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (ESV). Today, we will explore some of these promises and how they can bring us peace, joy, and strength.

God's Promise to Never Leave Us or Forsake Us
In times of emotional distress, it can be easy to feel like God is distant or uncaring. However, this feeling has much to do with our state of mind as opposed to the reality of an omnipresent God (Psalm 139, Jeremiah 23, Acts 17:27). One of the most comforting promises in the Bible is that God will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). This promise is a reminder that no matter what we may be going through, we are not alone. God is always with us, and He will never abandon us, even when we feel at our lowest. He is close to those who are hurting, broken or crushed, and He promises to save them (Psalm 34:18). Yet, when we are struggling, it can be easy to feel isolated and alone. We may feel like no one understands us or that we are too much of a burden on those around us. But God's promise to never leave us or forsake us means that we always have someone who understands us and will be there for us, no matter what.

God's Promise to Provide Us with Rest
Anxiety is a common struggle for many people, even Christians. So often, well-meaning people remind us of Philippians 4:6, to “not be anxious about anything.” Unfortunately, sometimes, this helpful advise to not be anxious may be received more as unintended condemnation because we are overwhelmed by the feeling of anxiety and do not know how to turn it off. In that moment of anxiety or stress, remember the rest of the verse, “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (ESV). Instead of trying to handle our anxieties on our own, we can surrender them to God in pray and trust that He will provide the peace and comfort we need. Take a moment, a deep breath, and through “prayer and supplication with thanksgiving” present your request to God, whether that be rest in turmoil, patience in frustration, calm in a moment of anger, or peace in anxiety.

It is universally true that when we feel overwhelmed by the demands of life, it can be tempting to keep pushing ourselves to keep on keeping on and to overcome our anxiety and stress. However, if we try to achieve this in our own strength, we will set ourselves up for frustration, depression, and setback. Matthew 11:28 encourages all who are weary and burdened to come to Jesus and He will give you rest. In this instance, rest is not necessarily a removal of the problem, but rather a peace and a tranquility of the soul, through His grace, in the situation. Psalm 23:2-3 reminds us that “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (ESV). Psalm 23 also leads us into the importance of finding rest, both physically and mentally, which is essential for our well-being. While physical rest may be easier to attain, we can find mental rest by turning to Jesus. He invites us to come to Him and find the peace and rest we need.

God's Promise to Provide Us with Strength and Courage
When we are dealing with emotional challenges, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless. We may feel like we do not have the strength to keep going or the courage to face and overcome our fears. Fear is a natural response to uncertainty, but God promises give us hope when we are struggling and help in not allowing fear to dictate our response. Isaiah 41:10 & 13, “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand...For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’” These verses in Isaiah reminds us that we have a loving God who is always ready to help us. We can trust in His guidance and strength, even when we feel afraid. God’s promise to provide us with strength and courage means that we can face any challenge with confidence, knowing that He is with us and will help us.

God's Promise to Heal Us from Our Wounds
Finally, one of the most powerful promises in the Bible is God's promise to heal us from our wounds. In Jeremiah 30:17 God says, “I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord, because they have called you an outcast: ‘It is Zion, for whom no one cares!’” (ESV). When we are struggling, we may feel like we will never be able to heal or recover. We may feel like our wounds are too deep or that we are too broken to be fixed. But God's promise to heal us from our wounds means that we can have hope for the future. No matter how broken we may feel, God can restore us to health and wholeness. Ultimately, Jesus intimately knows your stress and burdens, and asks us to draw closer to Him. He created you with a purpose and plan in mind (Proverbs 16:4, Jeremiah 29:11) and offers healing and wholeness in Him (Psalm 103:2-3, Isaiah 57:18-19, Hosea 6:1, Mark 5:34, Luke 8:50, John 10:10, 1 Corinthians 10:13).

As we navigate the challenges of our mental state, it is important to remember that we are not alone. God is always with us, and His promises of hope can provide the strength and comfort we need to persevere. Let us hold on to these promises and trust in the goodness and faithfulness of our God.

Valeta Baty, Author

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