Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. ~Ephesians 5:1-2 (MSG)
I am reading a wonderful book called, Hope Being Gone by Cherie Hill. I cannot begin to tell you how spot-on this book is for the season I'm going through, and have been going through for a while now. I have underlined almost the entire book so far. That's how good it is. If you're feeling hopeless and overwhelmed by the things you're going through, this would be a great book for you. Here is just one quote from the book, "Hopelessness arrives at the most inopportune moments. It doesn't care that you've got a job or that you've got bills to pay. It doesn't appear to matter that your health is failing, relationships are falling apart, or you're in too much pain to even pray. It doesn't seem to mind that you're already drowning in despair, as you struggle through the troubles of life. Hopelessness comes, makes itself comfortable, and waits for us to demand that it leave. If Faith doesn't return soon, Hopelessness may just be moving in for good. But, it's just not that easy. Hopelessness can drag conversations out and wear us down. It's argument is compelling, and Hopelessness, in a twisted sort of way, becomes our friend. Hopelessness even surprises us with it's awkward comfort. With hopelessness around......we can give up. We don't have to waste our energy trying. We don't have to waste our time believing in anything. Hopelessness gives us a great excuse as to why our life is falling apart at the seams, and we're resolved to watch it simply unfold without Hope and Faith. With Hopelessness around, we don't see Faith much anymore." I could go on and on, but I would highly recommend this book if you are going through a season of feeling hopeless. I don't know about you, but when I am in the waiting season where I am struggling to hold onto faith and hope, it's so easy for me to make hopelessness a constant companion. When things aren't happening in the time I want them to, when I can't see God doing anything to change certain things, or certain people, when prayers feel like they're only getting as high as the ceiling, those are the times when hopelessness whispers in my ear. It tells me things that I want to hear in that moment......"What's the use? Things never work out the way you want them to anyway. He's not gonna come through for you. Just give up. It's been so long and you haven't seen anything change. You're just gonna be disappointed. He doesn't care." It's a struggle to refuse to listen and agree with what it says. These are the times when I have to push through and grab a hold of my faith, no matter how hard it is, because if I don't, all will be lost, and I've come too far to give in now. I have to fight harder than ever if I'm going to get through this. God is there whether I can actually see Him working or not. He knows where to find me. I haven't been lost in some unknown corner of the universe where He can't find me. He is well able to take care of all that concerns me. Waiting doesn't mean He has forgotten me. For me to be still and know He is God, is one of the hardest things for me to do. I always feel that I have to be doing something to help Him along. He doesn't need my help. He is more than capable of taking care of all the details of my life. All He needs is my obedience, and to trust Him. Do you struggle in these areas too? Do you feel like hopelessness is trying to take up a permanent residence in your heart? Oh my friend, you are not alone. I want you to know that God is there and He is working in your situation, even though you may not be able to see anything changing. There is a greater purpose for what you're going through than what you can see. He is shaping you and molding you to accomplish all that He has in store for you. Our plans and God's plans are usually not the same thing. He has made promises to you that He will never leave and never forsake you. He is not a man that He should lie. You can trust Him with your heart. I will leave you with one more quote from the above mentioned book that I hope will encourage you. Until next time my friends, be blessed.
"You may feel like He's shut you out, but what He's really done is "shut you up." In your moments of utter helplessness, it's the hard places in life that threaten to destroy your faith. It's those places of complete hopelessness where God will strengthen your faith in ways that you cannot imagine. You want a way out---He's making a way through. You crave comfort and He brings you to the Cross. It's the place where God's greatest works are done. Though our faith seems crucified, God's merely working out His plan. He's working within us, dissolving our doubts, and whittling down our worries. He's "shutting us up" until all we can do is "look up." He's growing you in unseen ways. He's giving you faith feet.....He's building a bridge through your faith that will enable you to walk across the chasms of life. Though your faith seems to be failing, it is really growing. God is strengthening your faith by asking you to walk upon it. It is in your darkest moments that God is "proving you." God is proving you by shutting you up in the testing room of faith."
Here is a link to Hope Being Gone by Cherie Hill: