How do we hold onto hope? Easily said, but not often easily done. And more specifically, how do we find hope in the middle of the process, in the middle of the struggle God sometimes puts us through.
Every great man of God had their own struggle and their own season of testing. Joseph spent 13 years in Egypt at Potiphar’s house and in prison before being raised up and promoted to second in command. Moses spent 40 years in Midian before returning to Egypt to lead the Israelites out of slavery. King David waited some 15 years to be crowned king and during that time, was in exile and on the run. The list goes on and on of the stories of people’s waiting times, testing times, enduring times, the times where God worked on them in the process. We know the beauty of the process, in those seasons is where fruit is form and refinement of our soul happens.
There are wonderful, charactering shaping things that happen in the process, but what I’ve always struggled about being in the middle is how it makes you feel, waiting. How lost it makes you feel, how hopeless. So hopeless. Like Joseph sitting there in prison, abandoned by his family and forgotten by the world. Or King David, on the run from a man who used to love him like a son, abandoned by his own nation that he was meant to lead. Even Jesus experienced the middle, the death and the eternal weight before resurrection. There is a sense of abandonment one feels in the middle. There is hopelessness in the middle. Like David cries out in the Psalms:
O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever?
How long will you look the other way?
How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,
with sorrow in my heart every day?
How long will my enemy have the upper hand?
So what do we do? Do we stay there? Do we stay hopeless in this pit of anguish? One of the greatest things the Bible teaches us in Psalms and from King David is that he never remains those feelings–he never stays in hopelessness. Every Psalm ends with a redirection and a refocus on God and his character—on a declaration of who He is. In the same Psalm 13, David ends with this “But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me.”
“BUT” is always the moment of choice between remaining in hopelessness and getting yourself out. Does remaining the middle hurt? Yes. It is hard? Yes. BUT we will always choose to remember who God is. He is faithful. He is good. His love is unfailing. And we must remain steadfast in the truth that He is taking us to a better place. Look forward! See that where you may find yourself at now is not the end and that there is always daybreak after night.
Yes, my friend, hope is a choice. Choosing to hope is the secret to finding your way out of the pit, of navigating your way through the process. I actually believe that it is the way out of your process—being able to be always point back to in the Lord and remind yourself who He is. So hold onto that hope and discover that He is there, waiting for you.