The Restorer of Lost Hopes
Not only is Christ the source of genuine hope; He is also the restorer of lost hope. Unless we’re vigilant in guarding our perspective, many situations can erode opti-mism and trust. Biblical principles are the best defense against such discouragement.
Unchanging difficult circumstances can cause despair and rob life of meaning, but Romans 5:1-5 tells us that God has a much different view about the value of trials.We are eager for our Father to just fix the problem or relieve the suffering, but He has an eternal goal in mind. His purpose in trials is to produce proven character in us, which will result in hope, not disappointment.
Personal failure is another thief of hope. Sometimes discouragement is caused by a failure to meet our own expectations. This may be evidence that we have trusted in our own abilities and plans rather than in the Lord. Remember that “our adequacy is from God” (2 Cor. 3:5).
At other times we might lose hope because, despite all our efforts, we cannot live a victorious Christian life. Old flesh patterns may seem to be winning the battle. But just as the failure originates within us, so does the solution—with the indwelling Holy Spirit. If we surrender to His authority and live in dependence upon Him, He will begin to transform us from the inside out.
Hopelessness is a miserable trap that blinds a believer from seeing the Lord. The only way out is to deliberately focus on Christ through praise, prayer, and Scripture. This is probably the last thing a discouraged person wants to do, but hope awaits those who are willing to see life from God’s perspective.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org
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You can now read the Scriptures in Dr. Stanley's favorite teaching translation -- the New American Standard -- while learning the 30 Life Principles that have guided him for more than 50 years. The new NASB Life Principles Bible will enhance your personal study time through explanation of key passages, plus helpful resources like "Answers to Life's Questions," concordance, maps, and much more. Available in leather and hardcover.
Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.