When the cards seem to be stacked against us and those we are close to turn their backs, it can be hard to maintain a positive outlook. We may even feel as though God has abandoned us in our time of need. However, standing with God means that our blessings are simply on their way, even when things look bleak; we just need to cling to our faith and remain hopeful.
Here are 3 ways to remain hopeful when things don’t seem to be going your way:
- Be confident, even when you’re the only one who believes. Being surrounded by those who refuse to believe in and wait for God’s incredible promises can be defeating. Yet don’t allow the disbelief and negative attitudes of those around you affect your own faith. For example, in the Scriptures, Joshua and Caleb were the only men who surveyed the Promised Land and then maintained their belief that God was going to help them defeat the giant inhabitants of the land. Although they were in the minority, their patient hope paid off as God did, indeed, lead the Israelites to victory. When you need to remember to maintain your hope, even when you’re in the minority, recall these words: “In your hearts, honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15 (ESV)
- Nurture your deepest yearning rather than turning it off. Sometimes, keeping a hopeful outlook can be painful when your deepest desires aren’t being fulfilled. There may even be times when you wish you could turn off your feelings to avoid the constant letdown of unanswered prayers. In the case of Hannah, she prayed continuously for a child, never giving up the overwhelming desire in her heart. Even though there were days when she couldn’t fathom eating because she was so sad, in the end, she was rewarded with five children. Even though it may have been easier for her to simply quiet her feelings and move on, she stuck to her dreams, prayed to God, and waited for the blessing she knew was coming. To remind yourself of the importance of feeling the intensity of your yearning and steadfastly waiting for your blessing, cling to these words: “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 (ESV)
- Take your setbacks in stride and know that blessings are coming. When things aren’t going your way and you feel as if you’ve been thrown for a loop, it can be easy to despair or believe that God has decided not to answer your prayer. Looking to the Scriptures, though, when Joseph was in jail and failed to escape in the way he thought God had planned for him to escape, he did not give up hope. Instead, he stayed faithful, praying to God constantly and keeping himself ready for his eventual release. When he was finally released from his cell, in a way he had not expected, it was clear that it was God’s will being fulfilled in a way he had not anticipated—but in a miraculous way nonetheless. In order to keep your hopes high, hold these words close to your heart: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 (ESV)
Today, turn your blues to blessings by maintaining your hope in tough situations.
“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever!” Romans 11:36 (NIV)
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