Finding hope in hard times

Four Truths For Finding Hope In Hard Times

Life can be hard. We all face difficulties, uncertainties, and trials that test our faith. It is during these times that we may feel alone, discouraged, and abandoned. However, the good news is that Jesus knows what we are going through, He is present with us, He is for us, and He is not finished with us. These four truths are crucial for finding hope and strength in difficult times.

In Acts 23, we see an example of Jesus’ encouragement to Paul during his imprisonment in Jerusalem. Acts 23:11 specifically showcases Jesus’ comforting words to Paul during a period filled with contention and difficulty. Let’s explore its relevance to finding hope today.

Jesus Knows Our Situation

Despite false accusations and an uncertain future, Jesus knew exactly what Paul was going through. Jesus appeared to Paul and urged him to have courage. This interaction highlights the fact that Jesus was not caught off guard by Paul’s circumstances; He fully comprehended the situation. Paul was able to face the unknown courageously because Jesus was sovereignly in control of everything that was happening.

Psalm 139:1–4 

Similarly, in our own lives, Jesus is fully aware of the uncertainties, fears, and difficulties we face. We can take solace in knowing that Jesus understands exactly what we are facing right now. Take comfort in the fact that your situation is not unknown to Him. Knowing that Jesus is always in control and sovereign over everything is key to finding hope in hard times. Recognizing that Jesus is always in control and sovereign over everything is vital for finding hope in hard times.

Matthew 10:29–31 

Jesus Is With Us Through It All

Moreover, as Paul sat in prison, Jesus stood by him, assuring him of His presence. The truth is, whether we sense Him or not, Jesus never leaves us alone. Deuteronomy 31:6 is a great reminder that God “will never leave you nor forsake you.” Jesus remains with us through every up and down we face.

Matthew 28:20 

This truth should comfort those who feel abandoned in their current trials.  It is a reassurance that, even in the depths of our despair, the Lord is right there with us, offering His unwavering presence. He is not a distant observer but an active participant in our lives, ready to extend His comforting embrace, impart courage to our weary hearts, and provide the strength we so desperately require to endure and overcome.

Isaiah 41:10 

When we feel weak, He offers us strength. In our moments of discouragement, He offers us encouragement. When we feel overwhelmed, He offers us His calming and reassuring presence. In our moments of deepest need, the Lord stands beside us as a steadfast companion.

Jesus Is For Us

Jesus didn’t merely come alongside Paul during his distress as a passive companion; His involvement went far beyond that. He actively encouraged and uplifted Paul, assuring him that his mission in the Kingdom of God was far from over. In fact, Jesus specifically declared to Paul, “You must testify also in Rome,” revealing His divine plan and purpose for Paul’s life. This powerful statement from Jesus not only conveyed His unwavering support but also served as a catalyst, igniting Paul’s zeal to press forward and fulfill the calling placed upon him.

2 Timothy 4:7-8

The significance of this interaction extends beyond Paul’s individual circumstances. It serves as a timeless reminder that Jesus is not only “for” Paul but for each one of us who belongs to Him. Just as Jesus spurred Paul on to continue carrying out His purposes, He does the same for us today. Romans 8:31 assures us that if God is for us, no one can be against us. Jesus is actively working in our difficult situations for our ultimate good and His glory. Therefore, we need not lose heart, for we have the assurance that the Lord is with us and for us.

Romans 8:28 

Jesus Isn’t Finished With Us

The most exciting part of Jesus’ message to Paul is that His work through Paul’s life wasn’t finished. Paul still had a crucial task ahead of him—to carry the Gospel to Rome. Similarly, this truth resonates with each one of us. We, too, have Kingdom work that is yet to be accomplished. As long as we have breath, Jesus has purposes for us on this earth.

Ephesians 2:10 

No matter what you’re facing today, be encouraged that Jesus isn’t finished with you yet. Your trials have not derailed His plans for you. Instead, they become stepping stones toward the fulfillment of His divine calling in our lives. In every circumstance we face, we can find solace in the fact that Jesus is orchestrating His grand design through us.

Philippians 1:6 

Finding Hope To Carry On

Let us, therefore, embrace each day with a sense of purpose and expectation, knowing that there are still lives to touch, hearts to encourage, and the light of the Gospel to share. Our trials do not define us, but rather, they refine us, shaping us into vessels that are better equipped to carry out God’s purposes. May we continually seek His strength and guidance, trusting that He will empower us to faithfully carry out the work He has entrusted to us.

In conclusion, difficult times will come, but Jesus remains our stronghold and source of hope. He knows us intimately, is present with us, actively supports and encourages us, and continues to work in and through our lives. We have every reason to hope, even in the hardest of circumstances. May this truth inspire you to press on in faith today.

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