Holding on to Hope
Have you ever felt hopeless? You are in the situation when what you see doesn’t match up with what you felt God say? I’ve had that feeling of hopelessness. When weeks become months and months become years. Where my perseverance is flat out of breath, and my hope starts withering up and my trust comes sliding to a halt. I’ve asked myself: How long until I see some light at the end of the tunnel? How long do I have to wait for change before God changes things? Maybe you find yourself reading this and you are at the end of your rope? Hopelessness has a way of sucking the joy out of our lives, the purpose out of our present and the expectation of good things entering our lives.
At least that’s what happened with me. I was single for many years. Time and time again, I saw a friend or a family member meet their partner, move forward and start a family, and I felt in a perpetual state of stagnation. The longer I waited, the stronger I hoped, and the more I hoped, the more disappointed I became when it didn’t come to fruition.
I used to think this reaction was wrong, until one day I read Proverbs 13:12 that explained exactly how I was feeling in my situation. It read: ‘Hope deferred makes the heart sick.’ The Hebrew word for ‘deferred’ means ‘to drag’. When a promise is dragging, or the time of waiting seems to be prolonged, we can be led into hopelessness and disappointment. After all, how long can we continue to hope before He helps? How long do we have to plead before He provides? How do we remain hopeful?
When I felt the hopelessness begin to envelop me, I made a conscious decision to put more weight on what God said in his word than what I could see. Psalm 1 speaks about those who remain rooted in God’s word are like trees planted by streams of living water. They receive the nutrients they need to remain resilient and to replenish their resources.
I wasn’t in denial or pretending I wasn’t disappointed. But despite there being no fruit on the vine, and no fig on the tree, and no crop in the field and no cattle in the stall I chose to continually offer a sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:12-14). It is then that I realised, what true hope is:
Hope is the ability to face the facts that are around you but also have faith in the God that is within you.
When we absorb that truth, and act upon it, applying it into our everyday lives it will stop our hope being deferred, it will keep us determined to stand firm on His word and direct our paths as we wait in joyful expectation of how God will come through. He did for me, and I am believing the same for you.
About Bernadette Ocampo-Wall
Bernadette Ocampo-Wall is the Co-Lead Pastor of The Reach C3. She is married to Rob Wall. They have two little yorkies named after their favourite Napa Valley Wines, Piccolo and Peju. Her favourite pastimes are reading, travelling and meeting new people. She also blogs at www.bernadetteocampowall.com. You can say hi to Bernadette either on Twitter or Instagram: @mbocampowall.