Hope can at times elude me. It seems just as I get a good grasp on it, as I seem to really have my mind wrapped well around it, it slips out a back door.
Hope is a joyful experience. It is comforting like an old quilt or fluffy down comforter to be wrapped or immersed in hope. When my body is aching, again, or I am without energy to do my daily tasks, it is having hope that keeps me going.
I find my hope in the Lord. I find my hope in the belief that He works all things out for good for me, even if I don’t understand it now. That is where I am grounded, that is where the foundation of my hope lies.
I believe I am also given the gift of hope through people and their stories, their faith, their courage. When I am hurting so badly that I feel taking a shower would be too much work, I am given hope when I reflect on what others I know have contended with. When someone shares an inspirational quote, a message of freedom, or a even a small success in their lives, it inspires me to hold on tighter to hope.
It can be tricky though, a person struggling with illness or depression can find their mind squeezing the hope out of a good situation. It is easy for a person struggling with depression or pain, to see another person’s victories and say to themselves, “I will never be able to do that.” or “Lucky them.” But what I encourage you to do, along with me, is when a thought like that comes into your mind immediately replace it! Be bold. Don’t hold back. Tell yourself that although you may not feel it, you are capable of good and wonderful things! You are valuable. You are worthwhile. You are important. Never mind if you don’t actually feel that way at the moment, tell yourself again! Don’t let your hope escape.
There is an element of choice here, you must choose to do it. It is not a simple task for many, including myself. But when you feel hope inside your heart, you will also feel real joy and peace.
It is worth all the effort.
I have battled with depression, among other things, since my teen years. I have not won the war entirely, but I continue to fight. We must not give up when we feel weak, we must be courageous and strong.
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.” Psalm 28:7 (NIV)