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Beloved Unbeliever - Part 2

Guest: Jo Berry

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February 26, 2024

Powerful Hope for Hard Times

Are you going through a tough time? Feeling disappointed or discouraged?

Perhaps you're recovering from unexpected bad news or a heart-wrenching breakup. Could it be that your bills are piling up higher than snow in the Rockies and you're concerned about your finances?

Whatever the circumstances, you may be asking yourself, "How did I get here? And, how will things ever change?"

Take heart, my friend, there is hope.

God has not forgotten about you. He is your helper, your healer, your provider, and your friend. He longs for you to live with joy, purpose, and power.

But how do you keep on going when you feel so desperate?

Standing strong in hard times starts as we learn to believe God and bask in His presence. For it's there that you'll discover wild hope—hope beyond your wildest imagination.

Believing God
For many years I didn't know the difference between believing in God and believing God.

I knew that I believed in God. And I was grateful for His amazing, redeeming work when He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die and rise again so we could be forgiven and free—and live with Him forever in heaven.

But believing Him to keep His promises to me? That was another story.

Oftentimes when we've been disappointed in life by our parents, friends, boyfriends, or girlfriends, we project that same quality onto God. We think because others have broken promises to us, that God will too.

But He doesn't.

God always keeps His promises. He takes care of us. He is the ultimate Promise Keeper.

We are reminded in Number 23:19: "God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?"

Instead of doubting, you can choose to believe God's promises in His Word and believe that He is at work in your own life even when you cannot see the way.

Here's a good example from nature about trusting when you cannot see.

For instance, if a tourist drove through Colorado Springs on a foggy day she wouldn't be able to see Pikes Peak, even though the mountain is more than 14,000 feet high. Because of the fog, she may not believe the mountain is really there.

But as a resident, I know the peak is still there; I see it nearly every day. I know with certainty that when the clouds clear America's mountain will be standing strong.

Likewise, even though we cannot see the way out of our own foggy lives, we can choose to believe God is still here and working behind the scenes on our behalf.

Believing God also means you take action. One step at a time. Then another. And then momentum kicks in.

With the power of God at work in you, you can get up. Eat breakfast. Get dressed. Make a list of what you're going to do today. Even small, simple steps will get you going in the right direction: forward.

Basking In His Presence
One of the best ways to get out of discouragement is basking in the presence of the Lord. To "bask" means to linger, to hang out. Spending time with God brings you peace and it delights the Father's heart. Here are some helpful ideas:

• Set aside time to read the Bible, God's truth. It will encourage and inspire you. It will help you to get to know God better. Take a moment to think about what it says, and how to apply it to your life.

• When you pray, you might choose to speak out loud instead of praying silently to yourself. Or, write your prayers in a journal or notebook. Remember and record the good things He's done, and how He's come through for you in the past. Remember that God is faithful and true. He is your steady anchor in a sea of confusion and doubt.

• Read the Psalms for healing words of hope in hard times. Psalm 32:7 reads, "You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance."

Just as the moon brightly reflects the light of the sun (because it has "basked" in its brightness), we can radiate light and joy as we bask in the light of the Son, Jesus Christ.

Choosing Wild Hope
Years ago, my finances were tight and I was praying about how to replace my 15-year-old car that was sputtering to its demise. How could I possibly have known that God would answer that prayer with a good friend offering me one of her vehicles?

Her mother had passed away, and she already had a vehicle of her own, so this extra car was available. She knew I had a dire need, and gave me the car.

What an unexpected gift!

That answered prayer shored up my faith and I coined the word, "wild hope." To me, wild hope means having faith in God for help that is wonderfully good. It's hoping anyway, even when you feel you haven't got a chance and you have absolutely no idea how God will answer your prayer. It is daring to believe that God will come through for you in the midst of your toughest times—often in unexpected ways.

Wild hope may seem like a distant dream right now, but as you take small steps of faith things begin to change.

Believe God, bask in His presence, and pray, expecting things to change.

Dare to have great faith, and trust that the God who can do anything is at work even now restoring you and rebuilding your life.