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Welcome to Week 1 of the Hope for Hurting Hearts series!
Hope is a funny word. We think of it as a feeling of optimism, yet the Bible clearly uses our English word to mean so much more than just a feeling.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. Prov. 13:12
This word “hope” means “expectation” in the Hebrew. It’s not just about a feeling, but about our thoughts and ideas surrounding the feeling. When we lose an expectation, our hearts are sick. They ache. They hurt.
Expectations come in all forms. The behavior we expect from our boss. The medical test results we assume. The types of responses we expect from our spouses.
So what happens when that expectation isn’t normal? Our world crashes down and our hearts hurt.
How do we cope when God doesn’t seem to be listening or the circumstance is NOT changing? Grieving a loss is a process- it doesn’t happen overnight. We all process at different paces and times. You can’t kiss the booboo and make it go away; there must be healing and restoration from God. But as someone who has experienced the loss of a parent, the loss of a marriage via divorce, the loss of a sweet baby by means of miscarriage and is currently experiencing my daughter’s daily terminal battle with MPS, I wanted to begin this Hope for Hurting Hearts series with the following 4 points.
4 Things to Do When You Feel Like There’s No Hope
1. Slow your daily pace, but deliberately maintain routine.
You don’t have to be involved in every sport, activity and adventure offered in your church, school, and community. Make deliberate choices about when and where you spend your time, yet keep up with daily living.
2. Stay in the Word.
When trials come along or expectations are dashed, this is prime time for Satan to drop discouragement at your doorstep. To combat his efforts, now is high time for your faith in God to be more consistent than you’ve ever been. Read your Bible every day and in between. Keep it handy and post verses everywhere in your house!
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope.- Psalm 130:15
I love the NLT wording of this verse:
I am counting on the LORD; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word. Psalm 130:15
3. Spend abundant time in prayer.
God wants to hear your feelings about this expectation lost! He loves you and loves to hear you pray. Lam 2:19- “Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord.” Hold nothing back; give it all to Him.
4. Savor the blessings. Soak up every good thing you can. Smile when you can. Keep a daily list of things for which you can be thankful.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits -Psalm 103:2
While this list is short and concise, I truly believe these are four practices that enable me to trust God each and every day so that I can get through the times when I feel like there’s just no hope.
Do you have a go-to verse for hope when you feel like you have none? Could you share it with us in the comments today?