Romans 15:13, "I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit."
"The government has taken their eyes off of God. This looks horrible. Everything is a mess."
"Another murder has taken place."
"Alert... everyone share this post about a lady going from door to door asking for information about your kids. She's really involved in human trafficing. Don't give her any information."
"Taken advantage of."
"Things you need to be aware of that bad people are doing in an attempt to harm you."
"The governor just signed in transgender bathrooms."
It doesn't take very long to see that the world is full of bad news! Every time we turn on the television, log on to Facebook, or even talk to those around us, we hear of bad news! It seems so inescapable. People are taking their own lives out of a state of hopelessness. Some are getting involved in drugs, alcohol, and sex outside of marriage in hopes of easing the pain that they feel inside, yet in the end, they only find themselves more empty than they were before. There are some who turn to fame; some to fortune; some to other "religions", yet in all of their attempts to finally find what they're longing for, they never seem to find it.
I've found myself even feeling very hopeless lately. Hearing about all the bad things that are going on makes me want to retreat to a cave in the middle of nowhere, pull away from people, and spend the rest of my life secluded from the yuck that seems to be taking over society.
A string in my heart was pulled on, though, as I had these hopeless thoughts passing through my mind. Even when I begin to think on hopeless thoughts when it comes to ever seeing my dreams come true, the Holy Spirit whispers to my heart, "You know that isn't true, Taylor."
Are there bad things taking place in the world? Obviously! There is something we miss, though, when we focus on all that junk. We have a mighty and powerful God Whom we serve Who is bigger than any of the junk we will ever encounter. When we are so focused on the government and the things we disagree with and don't like about it, we forget to pray that God will intervene. Also, we forget that maybe we need to do something about it instead of simply being mad that it's taking place. One of the biggest callings of my heart is to do something to end abortion. That is one of the main reasons I believe I was put on this earth was to help save even the life of one baby. If I look at the problem, though, without being a part of the solution, I'm wasting my breath. I can be furious about it, but to sit by blindly still will only be fooling myself.
I've come to realize that there is nothing more depressing than a depressed Christian. "Why?" you may ask. Because God is the source of hope. The world is looking for hope, and they need to find it. Yet, if they look at us who are supposed to be like Jesus and we don't even have hope, they're really out of luck.
There are things God lays on my heart when I begin speaking things over myself that are lies from the pit of hell. I'll begin saying things such as, "When I get married in 2025, will you help me with my wedding?" or "I give up on relationships. They're painful, and look at the results I've had this far." Now, I know in my heart that it will probably be before 2025 that I get married, but even if it's not, I should not have an attitude like that about my life. Has a relationship worked out for me thus far when it comes to whom I'll marry. Apparently not. BUT, that doesn't make me a failure. I believe that God has a wonderful plan for my life and as I follow Him, He will take care of the details. Just because I'm single doesn't mean He isn't involved in my marriage process already. I believe He is growing me and my spouse into the people He wants us to be so that when the time is right, we will be complete in God so we can build each other up instead of draining the other person in attempts to make us full. Also, I really can't imagine me ever giving up on having that relationship someday, one because of the promise God gave me, and two because of that being such a strong desire of my heart. The point is, it's important not to speak such lies over ourselves.
I went to bed last night with a fire in my heart that was passionate about writing this devotional in order share with people that, although there are many bad things taking place in the world, yours and my attitude both need to be changed about them. Is there stuff taking place in the government that is messed up? Yeah! What gives me hope, though, is when I turn to the Word of God and see how there were many kingdoms before who chose the same path, eventually God got ahold of them and they turned back to Him. Nobody can get rid of God. Not even the government. With everyone in Sodom and Gomorrah, only a handful of people made it out because it was so corrupt. God placed us here in America for such a time as this, and we need to be the handful of people who still serve Him and encourage others to do the same.
With all the other things that we can look at that make us want to let go of hope, all we need to remember in those times is God. We can be honest with Him. I can assure you He will restore your hope if you'll let Him. For me, this is what a real conversation right now would look like with Him.
"Lord, relationships for me right now look pretty hopeless. You know the deep desire in my heart to have a spouse who loves You and will walk side by side with me and You always. You see all of this, and I know You have a good plan because that's what You promise in Your Word. Lord, I don't see very much hope in this as I've attempted even Christian Mingle, and that turned out scaring the living daylights out of me. With my own eyes, I can't see, but I trust You. Help me to trust You, and restore my hope. Let me remember that faith is being sure that what I hope for will actually happen and being certain of what I cannot see. In Jesus' Name. Amen."
I'm going to end with this verse: John 16:33, "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."
Dear Heavenly Father,
I can breathe a sigh of relief when I get my eyes off of the junk going on around me and I lift my eyes to You. Lord, there are many things taking place in our world today and in our own personal lives that can make us be tempted to lose hope. I pray that this will not be the case, though. Romans 8:24-25 says, "We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don't need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don't yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)" If we already possessed the things we are hoping for, we wouldn't need to hope for them because we'd already have them. So, let us not lose hope although we cannot see. Let us fix our eyes on You and never lose hope in a world that seems so hopeless. In Jesus' Name.