“Hope sometimes proves elusive when we experience tough times. We tend to feel that our situation will never improve. But hope will get us through the darkest times. Hope is what keeps us from being overwhelmed by sorrow,” writes registered nurse and grief counselor Deborah Howard. She continues…
“Lonely people may benefit from frequent reminders of hope. At this moment, you may feel like the sadness and emptiness will last forever, that you will never smile again, never love again and never feel better. But you need to recognize that you will not always feel as you do during these dark times. The truth is that with time your wounds really will heal, the pain will lessen, the sadness will diminish and laughter will return. You have a hopeful prognosis! So keep that in mind. Don’t say no to hope.
So what is hope? It’s not a wish. Instead, it is a confident expectation. If we belong to Christ we have a confident expectation of His return in glory, a confident expectation that we will dwell with Him for eternity and a confident expectation that His promises are true. And among His promises is one that says that God works all things for the good to those who love Him (Romans 8:28). Our pain has purpose. It is not frivolous or pointless. It’s not a matter of bad timing or bad luck. It is part of a well-designed master-plan devised by the Master. We can trust His promises because our faith is in Him. Elisabeth Elliot writes,
It is possible both to accept and to endure loneliness without bitterness when there is a vision of glory beyond. . . . In circumstances for which there is no final answer in the world, we have two choices: accept them as God’s loving choice for our blessing (this is called faith), or resent them as proof of His indifference, His carelessness, even His nonexistence (this is unbelief).
Hope provides the stability and consistency that keep our souls on the right path. Elisabeth Elliot says, “It is resting in the perfect confidence that He will guide in the right way, at the right time. He will supply our need. He will fulfill His word. He will give us the very best if we trust Him.”
Deborah’s little book, HELP! I’m So Lonely, is compassionate and designed to give the lonely person some practical, biblical steps to move them beyond their pain. If you are lonely, you will be ministered to by it. If you know someone who is overcome by loneliness, then why not get them a copy and drop it in the mail along with a “praying for you” card? That’s what I did yesterday.
Also available in Kindle format.
OTHER MINI-BOOKS BY DEBORAH HOWARD
- HELP! Someone I Love has Cancer (and on Kindle)
- HELP! Someone I Love Has Alzheimer’s (and on Kindle)