Yes, this is a blog called Prevailing Hope so why am I writing about despair that prevails?Simply, because sometimes circumstances and situations wear on us; well at least on me. and despair seems to prevail. When despair seeped into my heart, it took my mind with it and it was difficult to focus on anything but the things gone bad.
Having Multiple Sclerosis since 1981 you’d think I get used to the unpredictable life of new symptoms, old symptoms, pain, blurred vision, weakness, extreme fatigue and the list goes on. I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice to say, I never get used to this body that betrays me. Difficult for me to understand it. So I know most of my well meaning friends cannot understand. I long to go out and walk on the beach of Lake Michigan when it warms up and play soft ball again, go dancing, just walk without pain. I know I am fortunate just to walk. What is it like to not be overwhelmed with fatigue? How to function when what is suppose to function does not? How to deal with more loss of sight and hearing? How does one keep pushing when life at times seems to offer little or nothing to push for…
Dealing with one area at a time would not usually throw me into a state of despair. Add a few more areas of challenges that try my heart and you know why I lingered on the wire of falling deeper into a pit. A few more areas in my life that have fallen into depths of despair are personal losses.It profoundly affects me when my friends face serious physical challenges and not good changes in life. Another huge challenge for me is my wonderful Shadow, devoted Service Dog for many years is now retired due to illness and pain. She is still with me and on medications. We can not go out as a team. Now we deal with separation anxiety; hers and mine. She cries when I leave her alone; I don’t cry on the outside but my heart hurts- I long for my dog to be by my side where she should be.
When I (we) am at my (our) lowest, surely the enemy takes advantage to add to our despair. Suddenly my mind was flooded with the bad choices I made over the years. There were a lot of them and I still make them. The broken dreams I once had torment me with a sense of loneliness.. I always wanted to be married to the one I love who loves me- going places and enjoying the “good life.” I dreamed of having a career and living in a cabin in the woods; living a writer’s life making a living so I am able to give to others. Some dreams are just…dreams shattered by real life.
Now, that I am done whining (and I thought Shadow would take top prize at whining-not so!) it is time to share the Truth; the GOOD NEWS though it may not be everything is going my way answer- it is the Truth that pulled me up from the pit of despair. It is the same truth that will help you if you embrace it because it is God’s Word.
We all have two choices how to respond to life: Our way or God’s Way. When we become entangled in the world’s ways of dealing with issues it may help for a while but not for long. The world doesn’t hold any long term answers. Watch the news if you don’t believe me. God’s Word has the answer to every issue we have.
Hope prevails over despair when we choose to live by the Word of God. The despair I was stuck in was rooted in what I wanted in life. I lost sight of most important.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16
Once I got my true vision back on those things that are eternal, despair literally melted away like wax from a hot flame.
Have you ever thought about all Jesus went through so we can live a life of prevailing hope regardless of our circumstances? What if He got tired of His horrible pain, physical, emotional and Spiritual while on the cross and called His angels because He was tired of it all? What if Jesus quit because life wasn’t fair? Life sure wasn’t fair to Him! Yet it was God’s will. All because of God so loved us! These questions loomed in my mind.When I accepted Jesus I chose to be crucified With Christ to be alive to Him. Somehow, I drift back into this life is about me and my desires- and God does care about this but it is not ALL about me…or you. I am privileged to know and live for the Most High God. He is the GOD of HOPE Who Prevails.
I repented of my despair as for me it was selfishness and the circumstances wearing on me. The joy of knowing the LORD and living for Him is what real life is about. No matter where and what is going on in life we as Christians are to be the LIGHT that scatters the darkness.
Therefore, thus says the Lord [to Jeremiah],
“If you repent [and give up this mistaken attitude of despair and self-pity], then I will restore you [to a state of inner peace]
So that you may stand before Me [as My obedient representative];
And if you separate the precious from the worthless [examining yourself and cleansing your heart from unwarranted doubt concerning My faithfulness],
You will become My spokesman.
Let the people turn to you [and learn to value My values]—
So what is God’s purpose in our lives? He is the Potter, we are the clay. The clay doesn’t tell the Potter how to shape it. The Potter skillfully and lovingly takes the clay and smashes it down to rebuild it into something beautiful. Then the Potter puts the vessel He made into the fiery furnace to get the impurities out of it and seal the beauty in, for His useful service. (Jeremiah 18- read about the Potter and the Clay).
We hold this treasure in our earthen vessel. We can choose to live for ourselves or submit to the Potter Who loves us. His desire is for us to be conformed into the image of His Son Jesus Christ, that all men may know Him.- the God of Prevailing Hope.