By Tim Wesemann
Do you live “between a rock and a hard place”? Does it seem as if all the alternatives in front of you are negative ones? Then you need to know that hope showed up before you even entered the picture!
Your Lord will sustain you. Want proof? Consider those he has sustained in the past, even when they faced seemingly insurmountable odds. God himself testified that Job was his servant (Job 1:8; 2:3). Still, Job suffered the sudden loss of his home and business and stature in the community. Then, he grieved the death of every one of his children and endured intense physical pain. It left him reeling, questioning, and wrestling with his life’s purpose.
Frustrated and angry, Job cried and sighed. And yet, God kept Job in faith. He gave Job hope. When it was all over, the Lord prospered Job, doubling the blessings Job had lost (Job 42:10–16).
Or consider those who wrote the Book of Psalms. They speak often about the suffering and humiliation they endure. Illness. Pain. Troubled relationships. The burdens of daily life. Unexpected crises. Fear of death. Guilt. All plagued God’s people.
In Psalm 13, a heartbroken David wrestles with his disappointment. This man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14) accuses the Lord of hiding his face, of abandoning him. He wonders aloud how long his enemy will triumph over him. Can you relate? But then David stops to let hope take over. In faith, he declares:
But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me (Psalm 13:5–6 ESV).
Or consider Habakkuk. He lived at a time when the future looked bleak indeed. The entire nation waited for disaster to strike. Joy eluded everyone. That’s the point at which Habakkuk engaged God in intense conversation, openly voicing his struggles, wrestling with pain as a life-storm raged. After hearing the Lord’s answer to his questions, the prophet put the bleakness of the future picture in a frame of hope:
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places (Habakkuk 3:17–19 ESV).
In the eye of a seemingly out-of-control storm, this man of God chose to keep his eyes on the Lord who wouldn’t (and couldn’t) take his eye off Habakkuk.
Finally, consider your Savior. Jesus knows all about that rock and hard place of yours. He survived the ultimate hard place (his cross) and rock (the hewn-out tomb in which he was buried and from which he rose in victory three days later). Now, his victory brings hope. In fact, it’s the harbinger of hope and of the bright future he has in store for you. Because he lives, we live, now and forever.
In Christ, you’re a survivor—even as you face the ultimate enemy, death itself. Is your strength slipping away? Never fear! Jesus is your Rock, today and forever.
Editor’s note: Today’s devotion is adapted from Facing Difficult Days with Hope: Leaning on Jesus. To see it and others in the Hope book series, visit ctainc.com.