Did you know that sometimes you have to be courageous to have hope?
As Christians, we are expected to smile in the face of adversity. That’s not always easy and we shouldn’t pretend it is.
People that I care about are in situations that have them worn out. Family issues, financial troubles, and even worry about where our society is headed have all turned into perfect storms of discouragement. It seems like it would just be easier to give up and let God sort it out.
We know we have hope in Christ, and we know that our Heavenly Father cares for us. But before we can tap into what that means, we need to understand that we must take action in a way we may not be used to.
If you are in a situation that seems hopeless, you are going to feel uncomfortable. This discomfort is an opportunity for growth. Accepting the discomfort is like lifting heavier weights than you’re used to. You know it’s going to be uncomfortable, but even in the midst of the pressure, you understand that you’ll gain strength. If you put the weight down too soon and give up, you’ll be tired but you won’t experience the additional strength that would have occurred if you fought through the discomfort.
Once you accept that the situation you are in will be momentarily uncomfortable, you must then form a plan of action. All adversity can be overcome with a plan of action. Even things of this world that seem to be beyond your control. Your plan of action must always include praying for wisdom and seeking the Lord for help. He may lead you to someone that can help you, a Scripture that will give you peace, or an unction to do something unexpected that will propel you past your current situation.
If your adversity is depression, you may need to seek counsel. If it is financial, you may need to establish a budget. An issue with a family member may need more communication with the person you have a conflict with. If you are worried about where this world is headed, find a way to contribute your gifts and talents to your community to make a difference.
Once you have accepted the discomfort of the adversity and established a plan of action, it is time to implement your plan. Implementing your plan of action promotes new opportunities to learn and diminishes the feelings of helplessness.
This is how courage is built. Before you know it, even though you were uncomfortable in your adversity, you were not crippled by it. Each step you take, no matter how small, emboldens you for the next move forward.
This is called stepping out on faith. And because you were able to step out on faith by making these small steps (which really aren’t as small as you think), you are moving toward hope.
Hope is knowing that Christ is moving with you and ahead of you to prepare the way. Hope is knowing that no matter what, the plans He has for you have not changed even if you are facing great adversity. Hope is knowing that He is with you through it all and you have the option to be tired, but you don’t have the option to quit.
Psalm 3:2-6 New International Version
2 Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”
3 But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
4 I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.
5 I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
6 I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.
Job 11:18-19 New International Version
18 You will be secure, because there is hope;
you will look about you and take your rest in safety.
19 You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid,
and many will court your favor.