“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again— my Savior and my God!” Psalm 42:11 (NLT2)
In these uncertain and discouraging times as waves of bad news continue to bombard us from the COVID crisis to economic concerns, how is it possible not to lose heart? Let’s first admit it. We’re all human. None of us has a crystal ball or knows how things will turn out. Even Jesus’ closest companions dealt with discouragement and were tempted to lose hope. He knows when our hearts are faint. There’s no need to deny it when we feel hopeless. God hears our honest cry, “Lord, I feel like I’m losing heart. I need you God.” Maybe you’ve been praying that as I have over the past few weeks.
After experiencing personal and painful loss, I want to share with you three ways from God’s Word that our family has found hope when we were losing heart. It’s our prayer it will encourage you as well.
First, Pray and Never Give Up!
In Luke 18, Jesus tells a parable that illustrated a powerful principle of persistence in prayer. In verse one the Bible says, “One day Jesus told His disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.” It was the story of a persistent widow who appealed to an indifferent and unjust judge for justice. He would continue to ignore her, but she never gave up. Finally, he said to himself, “I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!” (Vs. 4-5) The implication in this story is clear. If we don’t pray, we will soon lose heart and give up. God is not an unjust or indifferent judge. He hears our cry. He understands. He cares. Prayer aligns our heart with His heart and gives us perseverance and hope.
Second, Invite Jesus Into Your Darkest Night
We’re most tempted to lose heart when we’re in the dark and can’t see where we are going. We don’t know what to do. This is when the promises of God’s Word strengthen us the most. But we must learn to rely on Him and His Word or we will lose heart. One of the great promises that has given me hope lately, through these dark times, is found in 2 Corinthians 4:6 where it says, “The God who said, ‘Out of darkness the light shall shine!’ is the same God who made His light shine in our hearts, to bring us the knowledge of God’s glory shining in the face of Jesus Christ.”
When you invite Jesus into your darkest night, you know that you are not alone! God is with you! He will make His light shine in your heart even when you can’t see through the darkness. Jesus is the light of the world! The Bible says, “In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.” John 1:4 (NIV) The next verse adds this: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” John 1:5 (NLT) Have you invited Jesus into your darkest night? You can right now.
Finally, Look Up to Jesus!
The writer of Hebrews gives us sustaining hope in Hebrews 12:2 when he writes, “Keep your eyes on Jesus, our leader and instructor. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy He knew would be His afterwards; and now sits in the place of honor by the throne of God.” Our hope is in Jesus! He took our sins to the cross that we may be forgiven and rose from the dead to indwell us with hope and life! We look to Him every day, moment by moment! I love the way the Psalmist put it in Psalm 5:3, “My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.” That’s a posture of confident hope! Corrie Ten Boone, who survived the Nazi concentration camps where her sister died, said, “If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at God, you’ll be at rest.” Keep looking up to Jesus! He will never let you down!