**In this post, I will be sharing a condensed version of two families’ stories of hope. In order to protect these families’ privacy, I will be using fictional names.
In our reading this week, Psalms 27:13 caught my attention. Again.
You see, it is underlined in my Bible and circled. Because God has used it before in my life to strengthen my hope in Him and my hope for His blessings on my life here…in this world.
I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Psalms 27:13
Without that belief, I’d have lost hope, I’d have “fainted” in my walk with the Lord. Many times over.
I’ve learned that hope is a very strong power. A life-sustaining power.
It is literally the difference between life and death for each of us.
Hope in God For Susie
This truth was vividly illustrated to me years ago through the testimony of a family associated with our church’s school.
This couple’s then teenaged daughter, we will call Susie, was in a horrific auto accident which left her critically injured.
Susie’s parents were later told that 99% of people sustaining her type spinal injury died on scene. She, by God’s grace, lived to make it to the hospital.
When Susie reached the hospital that night, she was not expected to make it through the night. But miraculously, she did!
The next day the doctors spoke with Susie’s parents, telling them that they could do surgery to repair her broken spine, but that they wouldn’t advise it. They advised that she simply be kept sedated and comfortable. And not put through the added trauma of surgery. But that without the surgery she would surely die.
Susie’s parents faced a choice in that moment that no parent can ever imagine making. But their response has stuck with me these past almost twenty years—
While there’s life, there’s hope.
I didn’t know it at the time, but their answer was a paraphrase of Ecclesiastes 9:4—
For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope:
These parents would never give up on their child while there was any life in her! Any hope at all!
Susie lived through surgery. But was expected to quietly leave this world at any moment.
God kept on sustaining her life day by day.
Doctors told Susie’s parents that should she live, she wouldn’t be able to walk. And because her vocal cords were also injured when her spine was severed, she’d very likely not be able to speak.
By God’s amazing grace, Susie, over time, regained consciousness…was able to whisper, and then talk! And remarkably…walk again! Just a few months after her accident!
God CAN do the impossible! And many times, DOES, in answer to the fervent prayers of His people who trust and are yielded to His will.
There is hope! In the God of hope!
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:13
You may be thinking, “Well that’s great for this family. They could have hope, because their child lived. But what if she hadn’t?”
Only God knows the answer to that question for this family.
But I know another family who has exhibited just as much hope and faith, even though their teenaged son’s life was not spared.
Hope in God for Joe
This family’s son, we will call Joe, died in a freak accident on the lake one summer day almost 25 years ago. Not a day goes by that Joe is not loved, grieved, and missed…with an intensity those of us who haven’t been called to suffer in such a way can only imagine.
Yet this family remains hope-filled that Joe is with Jesus and that they will see him again. That they will all be reunited in Heaven. And for all eternity! Never again to be separated!!
For by God’s everlasting mercy and grace, Joe had accepted Jesus as his Saviour just a few weeks before his accident!
When Joe’s parents received the unthinkable news that their son was gone, they made a pact with each other to not allow Satan the victory. They would let God use them and their testimony for His glory! Consequently, their hope for Heaven, and in God’s good purposes for their life now on earth, has sustained them through immense heartache over the past 25 years.
And because of their continued hope in Him, the Lord has opened up for them unique opportunities to share the love and grace of God with countless people, helping so many others come to faith in Jesus as their Saviour!
We won’t know till Heaven why one child is spared and another is not. But seeing, through Joe’s parents, how God can use us to grow His kingdom when we remain faithful and hope-filled sure has encouraged me to keep going when life is hard.
To keep believing in the God who loved me so much to allow His Son to die…and not be spared…for my everlasting benefit!
To keep believing in God’s love and trusting that His way IS perfect.
No matter the outcome of my own situation.
God can and will bring beauty for ashes! I just have to keep believing, keep turning to Him when I’m lured away through the distractions of this life.
When Satan tempts me to ask, “Why me?”
When the real question should be, “Why NOT me?”
Are you being tempted by a truly difficult situation to wonder where God is in it all? If God even cares?
Let me encourage you to keep the faith! And like Abraham of old…keep hoping.
Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. Romans 4:18
God will keep His Word. He is with you even now…in this current trial…and will see you through. Keep on hoping! For…
No Hope Means Death
The loss of hope is a terrible thing. While hope encourages life, builds up life, the loss of hope robs us of all that makes life worth living—joy, peace, enjoyment, the ability to see our current blessings even in the midst of our storm.
And leads many to believe Satan’s lies that suicide is the only way out of their pain.
Sadly, my own family has experienced this kind of loss only a few weeks ago.
If only that family member had relied on “the full assurance of hope”! (Hebrews 6:11)
Christ is our Hope in Life and Death.
Keep Hope Alive! Keep “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our (your) faith.” (Hebrews 12:2) And know that “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psalms 30:5) There is always hope! Jesus is your hope!
If you’ve lost hope, or know someone who is struggling, seek help. God wants to help you renew your hope in Him. Remember, He is only a prayer away!
And take heart. Like the song by Mercy Me says, “We’re almost home!” And even though this life really is shorter than it sometimes feels, we have a lot of living to do before we’ll get to go home.
So, know that God wants joy for us while living this life.
How do we keep going? Keep the faith? Fight the good fight? And not give up?
By keeping hope alive!
Hope and faith in God’s goodness and good plans for us. Believing that we will “see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (Psalms 27:13)
And remembering that…
Drawing nigh to Him,
LET’S TALK ABOUT IT.
Do you have a testimony of loss and heartache? God can use your story to bring hope and faith to others, too. That’s the power of the God of hope! Would you share with us here how you have kept hope alive?
Have you lost hope? If you would share with us, we would love to pray for you.