So you’ve lost hope. You have tried everything. Perhaps you have even been going to church more than usual – but life just seems to be too much and you are drowning. The storms of life have gotten you to your knees.
Allow me to assure you: You are not a misfit and you are not alone.
There has been a misconception among Christians that when things get tough and you lose hope – whether it is hope about your future, your vision, or what it is that God has called you to do – it is “wrong”. That losing hope is some form of “backsliding”.
It has recently occurred to me that, most of the time when we see a brother or sister losing hope, we tend to focus on and explain “the water” while they are drowning. We talk about their problems instead of simply reaching out. Now, this may not be something you’ve experienced, but let me tell you, it happens – more often than it should.
This misconception that Christians are immune to losing hope has gotten me to a point of actual anger. Even if you do know Jesus personally and you have accepted Him as your Lord and Saviour you can still lose hope sometimes. Let’s see what the Bible says:
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick…” – Proverbs 13:12
This means that when (not if) our hopes are delayed, we can be overcome by a deep sense of despair.
I wish I could emphasise this more– we need to not just stand by and notice each other losing hope but actually take part and assist where we can!
It is easy to build a Christian Foundation with someone who is doing good, has a steady job, and is emotionally established, but it becomes hard to maintain that relationship when things get rocky and your friend lost his job or he experienced the death of a close relative. And the time when things get hard – that’s when you build a foundation that will last. That’s when you should stick around and stir up the last bit of hope left in that friend.
How do I do that ?
1. Turn to God’s Word. When supporting a friend that lost hope, not knowing what to say is common. The fact is we do not have all the answers and, to be frank, we aren’t supposed to know everything. Remember that the Bible is the Living Word of God and even though you do not always know what to say, He does. Focus on the simple verses. The ones that are easy to understand and easy to remember.
2. Walk, run, or sit together. The hardest thing to do when you already feel weakened by a difficult situation is to fight alone. Now, you might not be able to fight the battle for them, but you can be there. Be present. Be Jesus’ hands and feet wherever you can. This will cultivate a stronger relationship, and when you focus on Jesus all the time, your relationship is rooted in Him.
3. Speak your heart. If an encouraging thought comes to mind, share it! It may not have the same effect if you wait. Don’t let shyness hold you back. Instead, form a new habit:
“Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today…” – Hebrews 3:13
Supporting goes straight to the heart. Knowing what you can do to help others and taking action will not only stir up hope within them, but encourage you to extend your faith onto someone else.
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