But when did hope fall short, and force our lines to crawl?
- Oh, Sleeper
This is a lyric by one of my favorite bands right now, and that is Oh, Sleeper. I feel this is a perfect representation of a lot of our lives. Amid the chaos of life, we get so caught up in being "hopeless". I am a victim of this for sure, unfortunately. I'm not sure why it is so easy for us to lose focus of the big picture so quickly; but it is definitely something we all experience at one time or another. Whether it is a certain situation giving us trouble, maybe a habitual sin we feel bound to, or just life in general overwhelmingly crippling you to a corner wanting nothing more than an escape. I can tell you from experience in all three of those that it is hard not to just fold up the tent and see our hope fall short leaving us in a limbo of hopelessness. It is way more difficult to fight through it and keep your focus on God amidst trials. But can I tell you a secret, this is only the case when we do it by our own power, on our terms, and basically without God. Here is a newsflash we suck as people, we are natural born sinners that just wreak of horridness. We can't do anything without Him. In John 15:5-8, Jesus makes the second of His "I am" statements when He says, "I am the Vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you. This is to My Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples." He clearly states we are branches of Him, but apart from Him we can't do nothing. The Bible likes to reference us as plants or trees, and I think it's a great representation. They each have roots and pending what they're rooted in, pends how they will grow. It is the same for us, pending what we are rooting ourselves in, will in turn result the kind of person we grow to become or the fruit we will bear. So you want those good fruits, the ones like strength, faith, and dedication, the ones that will get us through those tough times, trials, or habits; then we need to be rooting ourselves habitually in Him. That is the bottom line, like I mentioned earlier it's Him that will carry us through. It's no wonder things seem "hopeless" at times, it's usually because we're seeing things through our perspective based on what we alone are capable of on our own limited capabilities. So stop, get your eyes off yourself (I'm including myself in this one) and focus back on God. It's not us, it's Him that will make a way for us to get through it in Him. It's why our prayer life needs to be strong, so we're familiar with Him, we're comfortable with Him, we can trust and have our faith in Him. It's why we need to be reading and digging in His Word, so we can see what God is like, so we can know what He's done, what He is capable of, it's proof of how faithful He is. Man, let's persevere through it in prayer and dedication to Him; so that our hope never falls shorts.
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair. - 2 Corinthians 4:8