”Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
~Martin Luther King Jr.
I would like to add to this quote;
“Despair cannot drive out despair: only HOPE can do that.”
~ Pastor Kris Belfils
How many times do we try to drive out our own despair with more despair? This will never bring encouragement.
Despair means: “A state in which all hope is lost or absent, The feeling that everything is wrong and nothing will turn out well, abandon hope; give up hope; lose heart” (WolframAlpha).
Other terms: Discouragement, disheartenment, dismay, hopelessness, pessimism, resignation, surrender.
This happens to many people everyday. When a tragedy occurs or our expectations have not been met, we can fall into despair easily. We can fall into despair just by thinking wrong thoughts about our self and others.
There are really only two things you can have in life:
Hope means: “A general feeling that some desire will be fulfilled, grounds for feeling hopeful about the future, Someone, or something on which expectations are centered, One of three Christian virtues (‘Faith, Hope, and Love’), expect and wish, intend with some possibility of fulfillment (WolframAlpha).”
Having hope is so essential to surviving in life. If we lose hope, we have lost the race.
Where’s your HOPE? (Part 1)
Many people put their hope and trust in leaders or other people. But, when they let them down, and leave, or do not fulfill their expectations, they get discouraged and filled with despair.
Often people put their trust in other people, like their Father or Mother, friend, Teacher, but end up disappointed. Some put their hope in their job, or their boss. Some put their hope in the economy, or the Government. Some people put their trust in themselves, but the only place we can put our hope and never be disappointed is God! Let’s take a look at a few scriptures to help us get a better grasp on who we should put our hope in:
“ Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”
This verse is telling us to put our hope in God and to praise Him for saving us from our trouble.
What are you thinking? Are you thinking despairing thoughts? Then you will be filled with despair! Despair and discouragement are dead end roads. They lead to no where!They don’t get anything done. Discouragement leads to despair, despair leads to feelings of anxiety and hopelessness, hopelessness leads to depression and suicidal thoughts, and suicidal thoughts leads down a path of total darkness. These thoughts only bring darkness. Thoughts we listen to will affect our outlook on life. Feelings of suicide is a terribly dark, lonely place to be. If you have never experienced thoughts of suicide, you will never understand why someone would want to try to commit it. Don’t be too quick to judge someone who is depressed or suicidal.
If you are feeling despair, don’t jump to Satan’s illusions. Remind yourself that you are valuable and God has a plan for your life. Tell yourself that your current condition is not permanent. It will pass. Tell yourself you can stand in the midst of all the bad. Also distinguish the difference of something that is truth about you or your situation, or just a lie or illusion the enemy is trying to sabotage you with.
In the natural, darkness always makes us scared, but sunshine and light make us feel safe and happy. The doom and gloom go away instantly when light is put on the subject.
Light is the only thing that can drive out darkness. We sometimes wallow in self-pity or focus on the negative, thinking you will feel better, and the dark cloud will lift. This will never happen. Darkness cannot drive out darkness, and despair cannot drive out despair.
We have to guard against darkness in our hearts and minds. The best way is to focus on, and bring in the light.
Psalm 36:9 (NKJV)
“For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.”
John 12:46 (NKJV)
“I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.”
1 Thess 5:5 (NKJV)
“You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.”
John 1:5 (NKJV)
“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”
“Arise, shine; For your light has come! and the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.”
We have to set our minds on new things, and what God is capable of doing. We have to turn our thoughts from the bad and purposely set our thoughts on the good.
Jesus said this about our light:
Matthew 5:14 – 16 (NKJV)
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Now let us take a look at Psalm 146 and see what the LORD is doing in our lives, which brings us much hope:
Psalm 146 (NKJV)
“PRAISE the LORD! (Hallelujah) Praise the LORD, O my soul! While I live I will praise the LORD; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. Do not put your trust (hope) in princes, Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. His spirt departs, he returns to his earth; In that very day his plans perish. Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the LORD his God, Who made heaven and earth, The sea, and all that is in them; Who keeps truth forever, Who executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry. The LORD gives freedom to the prisoners. The LORD opens the eyes of the blind; The LORD raises those who are bowed down; The LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; But the way of the wicked He turns upside down. The LORD shall reign forever – Your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD!
To overcome Hopelessness we need to
remind ourself who the LORD is in our life:
- Praise the LORD! (Ps. 146:1 – 2)
- Do not put your hope in princes or in man as they will perish (146:3 – 4)
- Put your hope in the LORD – it will make you happy (Ps. 146:5)
- The LORD made the heaven and the earth, the sea and all that is in them (Ps. 146:6)
- The LORD is the keeper of truth forever (Ps. 146:6)
- The LORD executes justice for the oppressed (146:7)
- The LORD gives food to the hungry (146:7)
- The LORD gives freedom to the prisoners (146:7)
- The LORD watches over the strangers (146:8)
- The LORD opens the eyes of the blind (146:8)
- The LORD raises those who are bowed down (146:8)
- The LORD loves the righteous (146:8)
- The LORD watches over the strangers (146:9)
- The LORD relieves the fatherless and widow (146:9)
- The LORD turns the way of the wicked upside down (146:9)
- The LORD shall reign forever, to all generations (146:10)
Psalm 27:14 (God’s Word)
“Wait with hope for the LORD. Be strong, and let your heart be courageous. Yes, wait with hope for the LORD.”
We have to wait with hope for God. We have to be courageous and strong in our waiting. The word; “wait” was a bad four letter word to me. I hated waiting. Waiting made me feel I did something wrong. It made me feel I wasn’t ready. But, this is not why we have to wait at times. Waiting helps us to mature in Christ. Waiting burns out the impatience in us. Waiting is better then rushing into something without God’s wisdom and direction.
Human nature gives up easily when we pray and don’t see our prayers answered. We pray once, and no answer, so we give up, or think it is not God’s will. We have to be persistent in our prayers and in faith. God is looking for people who have their hope in Him.
I am sure Elijah waited with hope as he prayed to God for rain to come.
Read 1 Kings 18:41 – 46
Elijah could have given up after the first time praying for rain and then sending his servant to go up mount Carmel to see if any clouds were forming. Elijah’s hope was in God and he believed God would come through. Again and again Elijah prayed without any answer to his prayer. He pressed in and continued to pray.
Elijah persevered and kept praying and believing God would come through. He was relentless! He didn’t stop praying until God gave him a sign. It was in a form of a cloud the size of a man’s hand. It was all he needed to move on in his life. God gives little clouds to spark hope in our hearts that He is working and bringing the answer.
We can learn from this great man of God. We too need to keep praying without giving up. We too need to believe God will answer in spite of our circumstances or what we see or don’t see happening.
The hope is knowing God is faithful! What He did before He will do again. He used men and women in the Bible to bring about His agenda and His Kingdom. He wants to use us too.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
Faith in action requires a time of waiting. The word “Hope” is interchanged with the word wait in the Bible. It is the place between praying and the answered prayer. It can seem like God didn’t hear us or holds his answer from us.
Continue this powerful message in Part 2 of “Where Is Your Hope.”