The Thrill of Hope: Part 1
The Holiday season is a great time for festivity and joy, but for many, it is the most discouraging time of the year. When a heavy heart is all consuming and depression’s presence looms, hope can feel impossible to grasp. But God wants to speak his truth into the broken places of our heart and offer a hope that is genuine and healing that will last.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
The Holidays are a wonderful time of year, but for many, they can be emotionally painful. Whether it’s the reminder of lost loved ones or the realization that another year of unmet dreams has slipped away, this season can bring out all the broken places in our heart that have been neglected. Navigating the many disappointments and hurts life throws our way can feel like walking through a minefield. It’s easier to numb out negative emotions with distraction and busy than face them head-on. But our emotions are important because they tend to illuminate an area of hurt that needs to be spoken to.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)
For years, decades even, emotional heartache and debilitating fear can become someone’s normal and freedom from depression and anxiety can seem unreachable. But God desires to speak a better word and he is very interested in our emotional well-being. His word is alive and has the power to mend even the deepest of wounds and break the strongest of chains.
I will give you back your health and heal your wounds,” says the LORD. (Jeremiah 30:17)
Fortunately for us, God is not overwhelmed by our hurts and disappointments and he is a great listener. Whether our time with him is through reading scripture, journaling, listening to his voice in prayer, or simply soaking in his loving presence, he wants to address the broken places in our heart. We don’t have to continue carrying the load, the weight, the heavy pain any longer. He offers himself and his burden is light (Matthew 11:30). There is no disappointment, no fear, no anxiety, no loss, no cruel word or deed that he cannot heal. Healing is, in fact, his specialty. It can be as simple as asking the Lord to show you an area of your heart that needs truth and waiting to hear his voice on the matter. We can have assurance it’s the Lord’s voice if the word aligns with his nature and echoes his purpose. His nature is always hopeful, encouraging, and kind and his purpose is always to restore, recover, and rebuild. Keeping meaningful scripture easily accessible is a great way to remind our minds of truth on a day-to-day basis. Whether it’s on a sticky note or your phone, keep truth close at hand.
The LORD is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth. (Psalm 145:18)
God desires our emotional wholeness and complete freedom. He is our living hope and gives generously to all who ask without finding fault. We don’t have to be consumed by emotional distress. We can reinvest our hope in Jesus, the only one worthy of it, and receive his authentic healing for our life. This Christmas season, don’t let worry reign, let peace reign, don’t let depression reign, let joy reign. Don’t let feelings have the last word, let his truth have the last word.
Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God! (Psalm 42:5-6)
Scripture Verses for Meditation
1 John 4:18
1 Peter 5:7
And so he came, this innocent, holy babe, with little palms that held your healing, my healing, these tiny fists that carried our balm, our hope. And he comes again this Christmas, offering himself, the greatest treasure, to us once more.
Pastor Greg Haswell delivers a sermon: Thrill of Hope: Hope for the Hopeless.
Lord, I know you are a safe haven and I can trust you with my healing. You know the innermost places of my heart that need your word of truth and your comforting touch. Show me the lies and hurts I’ve been harboring for too long and speak your healing hope into my life. You are the God who exchanges ashes for beauty and joy for mourning. I know there is no hurt you cannot heal. Amen.