Sometimes, we hope and pray so hard for something good, and it seems like the answer is no. What do we do? How do we move forward when things feel so hopeless.
“For My ways are not your ways”
“Father, if there is any other way, please take this cup…Your will be done.”
I’ve been in this place before and it’s one of the more unpleasant places. You put in all the hard work, were best suited for that promotion and it didn’t happen. You trained so hard for that race and your workouts were all showing you should be more than able to hit that goal, but race day comes and you fail miserably. Why did I even bother?
I remember going through some of the secondary infertility we experienced and feeling so hopeful going into a month that everything was done “right” only to stare in anger at yet another negative pregnancy test.
Sometimes it’s even bigger than that. Sometimes it’s in regards to laws and policies that leave you feeling completely gutted.
In all these situations, it felt like you did what you were supposed to do, but didn’t get the results. It’s hard to not feel like it’s a judgement of you personally. It’s hard to not be angry. It’s hard to not feel hopeless or wonder why you should put yourself out there emotionally ever again.
Take heart. Jesus was preaching in a corrupt Roman Empire. And word spread quickly of His teachings and His healing and He even was said to be the long awaited Messiah prophesied. People were full of hope. Hope that He, like Moses would lead the people out of oppression.
When He rode a donkey, people waved palms, fulfilling yet another prophesy. Yet He was murdered. Not only that but He was mocked and humiliated. Stripped down naked. The people who truly believed He was the Messiah must have wondered why He didn’t free Himself from the cross and end it all there. Instead, He allowed it to occur.
Can you imagine what the believers must have been feeling? I can. I can feel it. They were hopeless. It would seem that the naysayers were right all along. They were made out to be fools and conspiracy theorists. But this wasn’t the end of the story.
Jesus rose on the third day. And on the day of Pentecost was the birth of Christianity. A fire that still burns brightly today. The Bible is still the bestselling book of all time.
It’s hard not to feel dismayed, hopeless, broken or even humiliated when we think we’ve been defeated. I urge you to remember that the story is not over. Sometimes God is working something even bigger and better in our moments that feel like defeat.
Don’t give in to feeling hopeless. Sing praises and be joyful even in your suffering. The enemy wants us feeling broken and defeated. But we have a strength that they can’t take away.
Encourage each other. Get back up and joyfully do the work. Pray. Love. Rejoice in your sorrows and let the flame within you shine all the brighter. Laugh when you are mocked. Don’t allow yourself to be humiliated. Be brave like Daniel going into the flaming furnace, saying “even if God doesn’t get me out of this, He is still God!”
If you want to change the world, go home and love your family. Love your community. Love your enemy.