Having hope can change any situation. It paints what appears painful in a new light. Having hope is a practice. Its reminding yourself of the positive outcomes that have happened before and putting in faith in God for another positive outcome. It’s persevering through a uncomfortable or painful circumstance. It carries tenacity, endurance an attitude of not giving up.
When the thing you hoped for doesn’t happen. How do you continue to hope again? Loss is a powerful feeling. Mary Shannon Hoffpauir says in her study, Loose Control that we feel the pain of loss more intensely than the joy of victory. Jesus says very clearly in Matthew Chapter 5:4 that “Blessed are those who morn, for they will be comforted.”
The New Amplified Version explains that the focus of the verse is on sin, it reads “Blessed (forgiven, refreshed by God’s grace) are those who morn (over their sins and repent)” But I struggle with this translation. I believe it is for all kinds of morning. We can comfort each other in our losses even when we do not understand them. A good example of this is in 1 Samuel 23:15-18 David was hiding from Saul, who was out to kill him, in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh when his friend Johnathan, Saul’s own son, went out to the woods and found David. Once he found David in the wilderness he offered him words of encouragement. Verse 17″Do not be afraid, the hand of my father Saul will not find you. You will be king over Israel and I will be second in command to you, my father Saul knows this too.”
Another example that comes to mind is that of Job’s friends in Chapter 2:13 They came and sat with their friend for seven days and seven nights. That alone was a comfort for Job. His friends kind of messed things up when they did finally open their mouths but I believe they were trying to help and show comfort in the beginning. Sometimes just being their for someone is a comfort.
Grieving any kind of loss takes a long time. When I injured my back in 2017 I went through a long period of grief, and I truly didn’t know why. I didn’t understand why I felt so sad and broken when every day I was healing. My therapist pointed out that I was grieving the person who I used to be. The person who wasn’t in continuous pain, who could drive for hours on the expressway. Who could pick up and carry her 4 year-old. I wasn’t her anymore and the things that came with that were hard. I still have days when I miss her.
Loosing someone you love takes a long time to heal from. I feel like since Covid has happened were are in a time of grief. It’s crazy how many people I know who are not here that were here a year ago. Some from the virus some just from life. God has been taking many people home. It says in Ecclesiastes 3:4 A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” Perhaps God is using this time to draw those of us that are still here closer to him.
God not only offers us comfort in our losses but he restores our hope. In Romans 8:28 it reads, “And we know that for those who love God all things that work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Even our losses in all their pain are being used to work together for our good. Another verse that echo’s this idea is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
God is always there, even when we don’t feel him. He can always restore our hope.
David says in Psalm 42:5 a Psalm he penned when he first escaped from Saul, “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become restless and disturbed within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall again praise Him.” David says this twice in the 42nd Psalm. We as Christians have the luxury of God as our hope, even when we are filled with loss and grief.
If you are grieving I hope this brought you some comfort today. I would also like to pray with you. You are welcome to post any prayer requests in the comments.