Hope: When Life is too Hard…

Are you being pushed and pulled in too many directions? 
Feeling like you’re not good enough? 
Not worthy enough? 
Made too many mistakes? 
Don’t have enough friends? 
Is fitting into that “little black dress” just not an option anymore? 
Where do you go with all of these feelings? 
How do you know for certain what the “right” direction is? 
Is there hope in this broken world that is constantly pulling you down and causing you to feel defeated? 

Let’s face it, life can be overwhelming at times. How do we face these daily struggles when, in the moment, we feel that all hope is lost? Well, let’s take a closer look at that magnificent word….HOPE. I believe hope is forward thinking. Hope is faith-filled thinking. To be more specific, I believe hope is heaven-bound thinking. Meaning, keeping our eyes on what is beyond this life, to a life in heaven. The one we were created and purposed for. What if everything we go through and encounter in this life is meant to prepare us for our heavenly home? Let’s consider this verse…

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (ESV)

The first step in gaining hope is to know what our hope is in.  I once heard a preacher speak on the details of what heaven will look like. It was AMAZING! Truly beyond what our human mind can even fathom.  I remember sitting there thinking… Oh! My! Word! I cannot wait to taste this heaven that is a gift waiting for me. I truly believe that hope is having an eternal perspective. Sometimes, I admit that I put too much stock in this earthly life. 

The second step in gaining hope is heeding to God’s plan and not our own plan.  Think about planning for a vacation. If you live in the Bayer household and you want to go on vacation, you need to give up things in order to go on a nice trip. We plan in advance. We give up dining out here and there, clip coupons, and live a bit under our means so we can save money for a week in Mexico or a cruise to the Bahamas. We are willing to deny ourselves now, so we can live it up for a week in the summer, relaxing and enjoying some added comforts. 

What if we took on this mentality with our lives in a more eternal perspective? What if we looked at earthly setbacks and difficulties as a way of building a life worthy of living in the heaven that Jesus has built specifically for us? It sounds as if we need to “suffer” in a way to get into heaven, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. God knows exactly what we need to feel fulfilled in this life and in heaven. We “think” we know what we want in this world, but do we really? We want immediate gratification. We want the easy fix. We often want what we consider will be best for us. But, imagine if what is really best for us is to take our eyes off of ourselves? What if God’s plan of fixing your eyes on Him and on serving others would bring the most fulfillment, which also serves as a ticket into heaven. 

Consider this… What if digging into His Word each and every morning became a “must do” on your daily to-do list? What if finding ways to serve others every single day became a higher priority than serving your own needs? What if spending time daily in prayer with your Savior became a way of life? I can speak with complete assurance that not only will we be preparing ourselves for a life that is eternal in the most amazing place you could ever imagine, but it will also bring the most fulfillment and hope on this earth each and every day. We just need to let Him do the leading. We need to let Him do the guiding. He needs to be the one that carries us, shining His light of hope into the darkness of our earthly pain and struggles.

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