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3 Biblical Encouragements for Remaining Hopeful in Hardship

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Early on in my Christian walk, I chose the word HOPE as my "life word".  At the time I'm not sure I fully grasped what that would look like in practice, especially in times of hardship.   Whether you have claimed HOPE as your "life word" or not,  I imagine, at one time or another, you too have struggled to practice hope in the midst of suffering...

What does God say about hope?  


Let's look at a few bible verses about hope to help answer this question.

But the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, 
in those who hope in his steadfast love.
Psalm 147:11

The hope of the righteous brings joy, 
but the expectation of the wicked will perish.
Proverbs 10:28

Here we see that everything about hope essentially points to joy.  Whether it be the joy of knowing that God takes pleasure in those who put their hope in Him or the joy the righteous experience in hope.

A hopeful heart is a joyful heart.


Does hope come from God?


You may ask, so where does my hope come from exactly?


May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, 
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, 
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, 
plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11


God is our ONLY hope in life.  Human beings are flawed and will fail us, but God never will.  Therefore, our hope is sure because it comes from the Lord.  Just as we have been filled with the Holy Spirit, we have been filled with abounding hope.


Hope in Suffering Bible Verses


Now hope does not disappoint, 
because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts 
by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Romans 5:5

It would be impossible to list every Bible verse that speaks to the hope we have in Christ Jesus, even in the middle of our suffering.  For the entirety of Scripture testifies over and over again to a trustworthy God in Whom we can confidently place our hope.


Now that we've looked at what God says about hope, reminded ourselves of where our hope comes from, and recognized that the entire Bible testifies to a trustworthy God in whom we can squarely place our hope, let's look at 3 Biblical encouragements for remaining hopeful in hardship.


My hope IS in the Lord

What is hope?  The Biblical definition reads as follows:

is the confident expectation of what God has promised and its strength is in His faithfulness.

As we saw earlier, the essence of hope brings joy and that very hope comes from God.  But are you apprehending that great hope when trials come along?

Too often we are not exercising faith over fear, but instead we are allowing the fears to hide the hope that has been given to us by our faithful God.  The strength of our hope is exercised when rooted in God's faithfulness, a faithfulness that manifests throughout all of Scripture and makes itself known in our own lives.

When we trust god in ALL circumstances, even the hard situations, we are then proclaiming to our own hearts, "My hope IS in the Lord!" at which time our thoughts and actions will put that proclamation into practice.

By constantly reminding ourselves, ESPECIALLY in the midst of suffering, "My hope IS in the Lord", we will experience the joy that God promises. 


Suffering and Hope in the Bible


The Story of Esther is a beautiful testimony of Hope in God in the midst of immense trial.  This is a good Biblical account to highlight hope in practice because the book of Esther doesn't expressly even mention God, but we know from the actions of Esther that indeed her hope was placed squarely on the God of Israel.

Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom. Their laws are different from those of every other people, and they do not keep the king's laws, so that it is not to the king's profit to tolerate them. If it please the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed...
Esther 3:8-9a

There was great mourning among the Jews when the decree went out.  Their futures looked absolutely hopeless...

 And they told Mordecai what Esther had said. Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king's palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews.  For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai,  
“Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and 
do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also 
fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.
Esther 3:12-17

Prior to this conversation, Esther expressed her concern about approaching the King without being summoned as it could mean certain death for her.   Her famous words, "if I perish, I perish" were uttered when she resigned herself to intercede on behalf of her people.

Here we can see that Mordecai had hope in what God could do through Esther's position, "for such a time as this", and in turn, we can see that Esther was placing her hope in God as she sought the Lord by calling for three days of fasting and praying after which she felt led to put together a plan to intervene for her people, a plan in which she placed her full hope in God to act through.

After the fast, things actually got worse as Haman built gallows to hang Mordecai!  Yet, this news did not deter Esther from remaining hopeful and continuing to carry out the plan she received from the Lord to rescue her people from certain death.

Then it happened... A simple sleepless night for King Xerxes changed the entire trajectory of Haman's evil plan.  Mordecai was now being honored and Haman was being sentenced to hang!  The King sent out another edict that would give the Jews permission to fight for themselves, and in the end the Jewish people were saved from annihilation.

What encouragement can we find from this story?

The power of the Hope that lives within us!  When things appear the most hopeless, that is when God shows Himself the most faithful!

The Lord allowed the circumstances in the story of Esther to show His power to orchestrate circumstances to bring about His perfect outcome to satisfy His perfect will.  As we saw in the promise from Jeremiah 29:11, His plans are not to harm us, but to give us hope and a future.


Hope in the Midst of Suffering


Are you in the midst of suffering right now?  Are you seeking hope in time of need, but are having trouble finding it?

Just how do you endure suffering?

All of these questions have their answer in the God of Hope.

There isn't a page of Scripture where you will not find hope.  The bible verses may not speak directly to your hardship, but they indeed speak about the faithfulness and trustworthiness of God, which is the very definition of hope - having confidence in our faithful God who has proven His trustworthiness time and time again.

Suffering is never easy.  Trials are never easy.  Hardships are never easy.  But when we look at those circumstances through the lens of almighty God, we can put our hope in the expectation that He WILL come through big and in ways that exceed even what we hoped or imagined!

And while you are waiting with expectant hope in the midst of suffering, place your immediate hope in God's love and compassion for you, His precious child...  And He will quiet you with His love.

God will see you through.  You are never alone.  You can trust God in the storm.

We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, 
a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain
Hebrews 6:19


We have a God who tells us, "Remain hopeful in hardship, for I am the God of hope, your hope is sure in Me."

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Comments

  1. We all need hope during our struggles. Thank you for this reminder of where that hope comes from.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Marielle, Indeed!

      You are very welcome!

      Thank you so much for stopping by. :-)

      Delete
  2. How beautiful that hope is your life word! I chose it last year as my One Word for 2019, but I'm discovering that even though I needed it then, I need it even more this year! So God was preparing me. :) I love your verses here. I still need to hear these often.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lisa, Thanks so much for sharing how God is using the word "hope" in your life. :-)

      Praising God that His Word always brings refreshment and renewal.

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Delete
  3. I love how you said that there isn't a page in the Bible that doesn't breathe hope. So true and so comforting! Psalm 23 is one of those hopeful passages for me. I blogged about it this week and will link my post, if interested!
    https://elle-alice.blogspot.com/2020/08/a-shepherd-looks-at-psalm-23-part-8.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Elena, Thank you so much for stopping by. :-)

      Delete
  4. Max Lucado's book is wonderful. I read it a second time the beginning of the year and passed it along as it was so encouraging. We can be filled with hope as we hold onto God, who will never leave us in the midst of our difficulties. His Word always reminds me that we are passing through valleys - He doesn't leave us stuck in the middle of them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Joanne, Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on Max Lucado's book. I appreciate it!

      And thank you so much for adding to the conversation. :-)

      Delete
  5. Without Hope, there certainly is despair, thankful for the Hope God gives us.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Peabea, Amen! Thanks so much for stopping by. :-)

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  6. Thank you! The word of God where we can find Hope in the midst of suffering. It really feed my soul spiritually. God bless you and continue used your gift sharing the word of God.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome!

      And thank you so much for your very kind words. I appreciate them very much!

      All praise and glory to God.

      Delete

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