Friday, September 2, 2022

Are You Ashamed of Your Hope?

Sustain me as you promised, and I will live;
do not let me be ashamed of my hope.
Psalm 119:116 CSB

Are you ashamed of your hope?
I came across this scripture in the Bible study I'm doing now, and it caught my eye. I've never considered the phrase in depth, and have not applied it to a situation of mine yet.
But as I consider it now, I can see that there are areas where I have been ashamed of my hope in the past.
Sometimes we hope against hope that things will change. You can read my past post on magical thinking to learn more about this. At times like those, we need to let go of hope and move on to better things.
Other times, we need to hold on to hope longer than we really want to do. That's when we can become ashamed of our hope.
Shame means we feel something is wrong with us, not just wrong with the situation. So when we feel ashamed of our hope, we might be thinking things like this:
  • I am a fool to think things can get better.
  • Nothing ever works out in my favor, so I should just give up.
  • So many other times, my hopes have been dashed. Maybe that's even my fault. Why will this time be any different?
Do you see how each of these thoughts turn inward on self? Calling yourself a fool, a loser, or one to blame - all of those are shame messages. They aren't from God, and they can get in the way of our ultimate hope, which is in him, not us.
Are you ashamed of your hope? Here's perspective and encouragement for you.

It can be hard to know if you are ashamed of your hope. Here are a few steps you can take to find out:
  • Ask God to show you the truth of the matter. Rely on the Holy Spirit to test you and reveal any areas where you are hoping in the wrong things, or areas where you need to continue to place your hope in him instead of turning shame on yourself.
  • Talk with a trusted friend. If you have a friend who is willing to speak the truth in love to you, you have a treasure. Prayerfully ask this friend to speak wisdom and insight into your situation, and tell them you are willing to be held accountable. This is a very good check against your feelings, which may not be based on the facts.
  • Check your heart for deferred hope. The Bible tells us that hope deferred makes the heart sick (Prov. 13:12 NIV). If your mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, or relational health is suffering due to deferred hope, it's wise to speak with a pastor or Christian counselor to get the healing you need.
I pray that God will sustain you as he reveals his promises to you, and I pray he will remove any shame you feel about hope. Remember that his ways are higher than your ways, and his thoughts are higher than your thoughts (Is. 55:9). Your hope may be tied to some thing or person further in the future than you can see now, but God sees the answer clearly. He will uncover the truth when you are able to handle it, and he will give you clarity on your hope in the meantime.

Blessings and God's peace to you,

Photo from

Reflection questions:

1. When have you hoped against hope? How did that make you feel?
2. Is there any shame you feel about your hope right now? What step will you take above to address it?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.


  1. I love when a phrase I hadn't noticed before in Scripture suddenly jumps out at me like that. I don't think I have thought much about this phrase before. I'm so thankful we don't have to be ashamed of our hope. Whether God redirects us or has us wait, our hope ultimately is in Him.

    1. Wise words that I'm glad you shared with us, Barbara!

  2. This is so encouraging! Needed it today!

  3. And I say Amen to your prayer. Thank you for explaining that verse, Sarah. It's so needed.


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