Jay Adams writes that without hope that we can change, we feel worthless.
We must believe that we can change- that darkness, depression, anxiety, heaviness of heart and negative thinking are not something we have to live with for the rest of our lives. Even if you have a proclivity towards them because of your personality, background, or genes there is hope for change.
Proverbs 13:12 says ‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.’
Hope is something we all need to move forward – to hope for the future and a positive outcome. Yet disappointment is something often encountered.
These three questions kill hope if we let them take root in our minds.
Do I have to wait to heaven to experience freedom from my mental battles?
The question within Christian circles often relates to concern over whether a Biblical promise is for now or for the afterlife. In heaven, we are promised no more pain or sorrow (Revelation 21:4)
Waiting for heaven wasn’t enough for me. I needed the hope that there was relief for my mental struggles here. The promise of John 10:10 where Jesus promises us abundant life now took root in my heart, as well as the following Scriptures.
Psalms 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds
Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,
These verses provide a foundation for hope. It is God’s plan and desire to heal the brokenhearted Click To Tweet who more broken than those who are suffering from mental agony?
Another very real question that presents itself is “Why haven’t I experienced the promise of these verses?’
As mankind, our natural tendency is to judge based on our experience. If we haven’t had victory or see that someone around us has not had victory than we get discouraged, and convince ourselves that the prayers for inner healing didn’t work. Hope of change is immediately killed in that moment. Don’t judge the reality of God’s promise by your own experience or another’s but according to His Word. Every promise in the Bible is yes and amen. When our faith falters it is no fault of God’s. Don’t let doubt seep in, come asking ‘Lord, help my unbelief.’
What I have found is that I had to stop hoping for perfection. I would find every time I experienced the struggle anew that my hope was crushed. But God isn’t as concerned about making us perfect as He is concerned about our progress. He wants us to continue moving forward, to continue holding on to His promises that guarantee His purposes.
This brings me to the third question
Why do I still struggle even after times of victory?
The struggle is between what is promised and what is reality. Perhaps we wonder “if God has promised that I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37) why am I still struggling with these things?” It is a fair question. One that I too have asked. And I wondered. Did I just have to wait till heaven for the cares of this world to pass away – to be freed from the weight of my own darkness. That did not bring me hope – except perhaps to wait eagerly for death.
Hope means changing my expectation. Rather than expect that I totally stop struggling I expect that today I will be a conqueror with His help – that today I will be more like Him and tomorrow again.
Humanly, we judge God’s word by what we see. If we don’t see His promise a reality we tend to say it isn’t for now. Hebrews 11 is my favorite faith chapter of men and women who believed what God said even when they couldn’t see the reality of it. Rather than question the truth of God’s promise and doubt whether it is for you, be like this people of faith – believe even when you can’t see.
Life Coach Moment:
- Have you ever asked any of these three questions?
- What is it that you are hoping for but struggle to believe God will do in your life?
- Find a Scriptural promise that relates to your struggle – hold onto it as a promise, put it in front of you at all times – use it as part of your self-talk when you are filled with despair.
Renew Your Mind in Truth
Meditate on Jeremiah 29:11 “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.”
God has good plans for you. Plans to transform you into the person He created you to be. He is a good Father who loves you.
I believe that God plans to give me a future and a hope and He is working on it right now even though I may not see it.
Thank You Father for Your Word which is filled with promises for my life. I choose to believe by faith what You say, rather than judge by what I do not see. Help my unbelief. Thank You for continuing to work in me. Amen
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