When Hope and Discouragement Collide
Written by: Elisabeth Lough
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“But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the Lord, have spoken! "
- Jeremiah 9:24 NLT
Spring is a season of flowers and growth. It is a transition from the cold and darkness of winter to the warmth and sunshine of summer.
Think of those brave flowers you plant in the spring. You buy seeds from the store and excitedly plant them in your garden. They do not grow overnight. They take time. They need water, soil, and sunshine to grow. You watch and wait expectantly every day, waiting for those seeds to finally sprout.
And one day, it does sprout. A little green shoot pops its head above the soil, but it is not done growing yet. You wait longer, giving it time to fully develop. One day it blooms, but it is not fully grown yet. The day comes when it is a mature plant, and you have a beautiful addition to your garden.
Every day we are growing just like that plant. We do not grow overnight. It takes time for us to fully become the person God meant us to be. We need to be patient as we face various trials and uncertainties in our lives, trusting that God is using those events to fully develop us until one day we bloom.
I believe that when our lives seem darkest—when all hope seems lost and our situations look bleak—that is when God shines brightest. That is when God is able to fully demonstrate His power and might in our lives and prove to us that He is the God of the impossible. As I continue to grow as a Christian, this truth gives me hope. Even when I get discouraged because my situation seems humanly impossible, God constantly reminds me that nothing is impossible for Him. My situation may look impossible to me, but I have to remember that miracles are God’s specialty.
If you find yourself in a seemingly impossible, hopelessly dark valley in your life, don’t give up. God is doing a marvelous work in you; you just have to give yourself time to grow. Isaiah 61:3 (KJV) promises us that our time of growing glorifies the Lord: “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”
If your situation looks dark right now, remember, it’s a season of growing that God will use to blossom you into the woman He created you to be.
1. Do I see my situation as humanly impossible? If so, how can I remind myself that nothing is impossible with God?
2. If you are in a season of growing right now, how can you praise and glorify God during this season?
Dear Lord, thank You for spring. Thank You for the sunshine, the flowers, the warmer weather after winter. Lord, just like those flowers, we are all going through some season of growth. It isn’t easy, and we may not understand why we’re going through it, but we know that You have a purpose for this season. You’re trying to grow us so that one day we can bloom. Give us the patience we need during this time and remind us that flowers don’t bloom overnight. Help us to give ourselves time to grow and not rush the growing process. We love You, Lord, and in Jesus’ Name we pray, amen.
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