Sunday, August 13, 2017


I've been reading through Psalm 119 this last week and this morning as I read verse 116, I was burdened for those who are struggling with hopelessness. "Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope", the verse reads.  I began to remember the many times and situations that I, myself, struggled with hopelessness - when I was sure God was going to come through with a financial miracle and instead we went through a season of great loss - when someone hurt and betrayed me and the relationship never recovered - in dealing with a chronic pain issue - in a long, long season of not seeing an answer to a deep heart prayer - in a two year struggle with depression - in watching my daughter struggle through over a decade of infertility and miscarriage.  I'm sure it wouldn't be hard for me to recollect other times when it felt like I was barely holding on by a thread to the rope of hope.

It's at times like these, when you are being haunted by hopelessness, that someone coming along and quoting Romans 8:28, "And we know that for those who love God ALL THINGS work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose", can be a bit like rubbing salt in your wounds.  I certainly don't want to do that, to be that person who callously throws out a verse hoping to comfort you, but refusing to enter into your suffering with you. Just a Bible verse can be cold comfort when what you need is a hug, or to hear the words, "I understand", or to be offered a cup of coffee and a listening ear.   At the risk of doing what I just condemned, I couldn't help but notice a similar thought to Romans 8:28 found early in chapter 119, verse 91.  "ALL THINGS are Your servants", it says.  As I recollect my own times of despair and hopelessness,  I can testify to this truth.  In the times when it felt like God didn't come through for me because He didn't answer my prayer the way I thought He was going to, in the times when hope deferred made my heart sick but after years of asking, praying, and pleading I finally saw the answer come, in the areas where I'm still praying and have yet to see the promise come to pass - in ALL OF THESE THINGS, God has used every test, trial and circumstance as His servant, as His tool, to do His work in my life. At every point when hope was slipping through my fingers, every time the enemy fanned the flames of hopelessness and despair that seemed to be consuming me, it was at those times that God supernaturally intervened and gave me the power of endurance that helped me to hold fast to hope.
For whatever was thus written in former days was written for our instruction, that by [our steadfast and patient] endurance and the encouragement [drawn] from the Scriptures we might hold fast to and cherish hope. Now may the God Who gives the power of patient endurance (steadfastness) and Who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 
 Romans 15:4-5 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition
My point?  My point is that when it appears that God isn't working in your situation, He is still working and He is still working in you.  He does not waste anything that happens in our lives but uses ALL THINGS for our good and for His glory. The older I get, the longer the view in the rearview mirror of my life, and I can now see how even my hardest and most hopeless situations He wove into something beautiful in the end. Sometimes it took over a decade, sometimes even longer, for me to see and understand what He was up to, for me to see any good in it.  But, now that I see in hindsight so many instances of His handiwork in the midst of my difficulties,  it is easier to hold onto hope in things that I'm currently facing.  We've got history together now, God and I, and I know with confidence that all of hopes and dreams, all of my expectations, are safe with Him.
still following,


  1. Elizabeth, thank you for every word as I needed every word of this today. All things, all things, all things serve His plans. And for each of us, that means right where we find ourselves today, in this moment. Such hope in this. Thank you and blessings today!

  2. Amen! Thank you for this post. At 54 the thought of looking at the long view in the rear view mirror of my life is a comfort. I think of how far He has brought us and how many times He has had to renew and refresh my soul over the years and I am grateful. His hope is an anchor to my soul. And I could not have survived these past 12 years on the mission field without hoping in Him!

    1. May God bless you, Alida! May He provide for you, encourage you, and protect you as you serve Him on the missionfield!


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