By Scott Kemp, North Central Regional Director
“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again — my Savior and my God!” (Psalm 43:5 NLT).
I recently became ill and was eventually diagnosed with influenza A. As I sank deeper into the illness, a real sense of hopelessness began to rise up in my mind. I started getting delusional and began to think:
“I sure hope the doctor can give me something to make me feel better.”
“I sure hope I can get better in time for that special event this weekend.”
“I sure hope I make it through this!”
The fear and anxiety generated by the infection were real, and that hopeless feeling slowly became depressing. Turning on the TV during my recovery, I quickly realized how hopeless the world can be, too. We humans are hurrying to fill our empty lives with “stuff.” Abuse, addiction, illness, and broken relationships surround us. It’s so easy to lose heart. I began to feel doubtful about myself and began bathing in self-pity. I desperately needed some encouragement and hope.
As I lay on the couch feeling sorry for myself, a moment of clarity came and I started to think about Jesus.
“Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:3 NIV).
As I got back into my routine of devotions and Bible reading, I slowly started to feel better about myself. I started feeling my heart fill back up again!
When we lose heart, we become hopeless. To not lose heart, we need to practice hope by focusing on the things above rather than the worldly things. When we do this, we are practicing hope. I need to remember that Jesus came to bring hope, that he is my hope, and that my hope is alive!
Is the hope of Jesus real and alive in you?