Steadfast Hope Can Be Found

3 Mins read

Recent world events have many of us feeling isolated and afraid. The future may feel murky and leave you in despair. Worst of all, the restrictions and risks of gathering may have feeling lonely and blue. The world is wound up tight and polarization has many of us afraid to reach out and connect with people. If your spirit is tired of being afraid, the Biblical references below may give you strength.

Standing Against Fear

The outside world is always ready to inform us of what we should fear. While awareness must always be considered, a life of fear is neither heathy nor productive. Joshua 1:9 reminds us to “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

It’s important to note that this quote from Joshua is not just a recommendation; it’s a command. We are not encouraged to be strong. We are commanded by our God to find our courage. If you struggle to make decisions, rely on the power of this commandment as you move into the world.

Even if you’re not fearful, it’s easy to be generally nervous about life these days. This nervousness and worry can grind away at your health, from your ability to sleep to making healthy food choices. Matthew 6:34 instructs us to “not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” There will always be risks and troubles that come into our lives and cause us to fret. You were given a creative mind by your Creator; don’t use it to worry about what hasn’t happened yet.

Reaching Out to Overcome Loneliness

The world is extremely polarized these days. You may have backed away from reaching out to former family and friends due to political differences or simply because you’re trying to protect the health of others. If you have had to back away from family members, Psalm 27:10 may be helpful. “For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in.”

You may have found that your income has been curtailed in recent days, or that you have to work more hours to make enough to live on. Friends who used to enjoy going out may not be comfortable staying in and eating a home-cooked meal with you. Be ready to expand your social circle to folks who love to share simple pleasures; contentment and comfort are recommended by Hebrews 13:5, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Most importantly, make sure you honor your need for solitude. Yes, we need other people. However, sometimes we need to be alone and enjoy the quiet. The Prince of Peace gave deeply of his love, but would recharge his human batteries in solitude. From Luke 5:16, “he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.” Consider a walk in the woods or a picnic under a tree in a park on your own to relax your mind and re-energize your spirit.

Holding On in Hope

Hope is inherently patient; there is no end date on hoping for better times. Yes, you will strive to stay healthy and to protect your family from the risks of our time. But Romans 8:25 reminds us “if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” We will never run out of risks and hazards that we need to pay attention to, but staying patient will reduce anxious thoughts.

Keeping a hopeful mindset can also help you avoid some of the darker, more destructive messages that are circling through our world. There seem to be forces that delight in spreading falsehoods and strife. When you feel yourself falling into such negativity, consider a meditation on love as a positive and enduring force. From Corinthians 13:6-7, “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Finally, you may just be exhausted. Worry and stress will grind away at your ability to focus on hopeful thoughts. Prayer may help you find equilibrium, but joy and hope can be hard to find some days. Be ready to put down the weight that you carry when you study Matthew 11:28, Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

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