Stories of Hope
There was a time in my life when I was overcome with hopelessness. Little by little this oppressive emotion added weight upon my heart. How can you hope when every area of your life is failing?
I remember one particular day putting a wig on my baldhead, the result of chemotherapy, and I visited my son behind a heavy glass window at the county jail. His arrest had confirmed my suspicions--my son was abusing drugs. This report was just one negative report from one child that month; there were others. Although my husband had once been someone to whom I could run, he was now distant and unavailable. I felt so alone with no hope in my life.
I remember wishing God could just talk to me and tell me there was a reason to hope. With nowhere to turn, I picked up the Bible and looked in the concordance for the word h-o-p-e. This is what I found:
Romans 15:13: "May the God of all hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
God Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth began to speak to me through His word. He is the God of HOPE. He is the source of HOPE, and He could fill me with joy and peace no matter the circumstances. I simply must trust in Him, not my children, not my husband, not the doctor reports, not even in my own ability--HIM! Not only can I have HOPE, I can overflow with this beautiful, life-giving emotion if I will simply receive it from the Holy Spirit.
Once I held onto this hope, my faith began to increase. I wrote down on a piece of paper what I wanted to see in my life. I wrote the names of my children. I wrote that they were happy and healthy. I wrote that they were making good choices and walking in the victory of their Savior. I wrote about my wonderful marriage and how my husband adored me. Nothing in front of me at that time confirmed that these words of hope and faith were possible, but God's word says:
Hebrews 11:1: "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."
Often, I read the words of hope written on that single piece of notebook paper. Sometimes I read them out loud, sometimes silently. In time, the weight upon my heart began to lift as I began to think about the victory that would come. I began to smile again. I had found my joy, and I had hope.
On my desk beside me as I am writing this message to you, is my book, "I Could Not Save the Little Bird." Within its pages, I tell the story of finding hope and seeing the fruition of that for which I hoped. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak at a fundraiser banquet that was held to raise money to build a recovery center. At the end of my story, I told the audience, "I would now like to show you evidence of what a Savior can do once we let go of our loved ones." Then, I introduced my son. A photographer captured the moment of me receiving a hug from his young man transformed by the power of God. The audience responded to his testimony with applause and tears. I walked off the stage into the arms of the husband who adores me.
If you are feeling hopeless, I encourage you to let the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him. You, too, can overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit, and you can see that for which you hope. Just be confident and have assurance about what you do not yet see.
Those who share their story are people just like you, who, at one time, felt lost and alone. Yet, their lives turned around by the hope and deliverance they found in Jesus Christ.
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