By Tim Wesemann
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1 ESV).
As a Matter of Fact . . .
The fact of the matter is that facts matter, and sometimes those facts make it difficult to find hope during difficult days, months, and even years.
Relationships crumble. Losses compound after a job evaporates. An “act of God” brings ungodly destruction. The prognosis doesn’t look good. Credit limits max out. Out-of-control situations take control of thoughts and emotions. Exasperation, anxiety, discouragement, anger, and hope often overwhelm you.
Hope? Can hope possibly find its way into this picture? Yes! Not a wistful, I-sure-hope-so kind of hope, but a God-created, God-directed, God-strong hope can bring clarity to your picture!
Those words are sometimes hard to read, much less believe. Your hurts, struggles, heartaches, questions, doubts, and fears are real and justified. You may even worry about your faith. Please know your feelings are not an indictment of your faith. Instead, they simply prove you’re a human being, striving to persevere in a world broken by sin.
. . . You Can Lean on Jesus
While the harsh reality of your present problems may stare you down, the reality of hope in and through Jesus Christ will always stand its ground. The Giver of Hope urges you to turn your eyes to him. He gives you his Word of hope:
Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire, you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior (Isaiah 43:1–3 ESV).
Be encouraged! Hope and help surround you in the person of your Savior, Jesus Christ. He stays with you, and he sends the Holy Spirit to work hope in your heart despite your present storm. You need not shake your fist in anger or despair. Instead, you can ask your Lord to hold your hand open to receive the help he promises.
Be assured that your Savior’s presence, promises, and power are unmatched. He is a force to be reckoned with! It’s true!
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me! (Psalm 27:1, 7 ESV)
Hope in and through Jesus Christ. As a matter of fact, it’s a fact.
Prayer: Lord, the fact of the matter is I’m struggling. As a matter of fact, I’m anxious, confused, fearful. I hate the mess in my life. There’s so much I can’t control. It’s so frustrating! I don’t want my faith to weaken!
So send your Holy Spirit. Rescue me from myself. Forgive my sins. Restore in me salvation’s joy. Come, live in me anew. You will never abandon me. I will trust your promise.
You are my refuge and strength, an ever-present help in all my times of trouble. Amen.
Editor’s note: This devotion is slightly adapted from CTA’s Facing Difficult Days with Hope, a customer favorite in our Hope series of books.