When Hope and Disaster Collide
Written by: Eden Shadwick
Click HERE to listen to today's devotion Return to the LORD your God, for He is merciful and compassionate,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love...
- Joel 2:13b
Has disaster ever hit a little too close to home? Have you ever felt so lost in despair that when you look around, it seems as if nothing could change your situation? That’s how the people of Israel felt in the book of Joel. A devastating plague of locusts invaded Israel and destroyed everything in sight. Joel 1:6 calls them “a vast army of locusts . . . too numerous to count.” This army of locusts was everywhere, in their homes, on their clothes, destroying their crops, and eating their food supply. The farmers of the land were in utter despair. How would they provide for the people of Israel? The panic of the Israelites soared as they mourned their losses and cried out, “LORD, help us!” (Joel 1:19)
Sometimes life seems to swarm us on all sides. Devastating circumstances seem to happen frequently, often leaving us, like the Israelites, crying out, “Lord, help us!” Maybe you, like me, have hit rock bottom a lot lately, or even multiple rock bottoms. Finding hope through devastation can be tricky. When you’re in the metaphorical “pit of despair,” how do you pull yourself out and find the good in your situation?
Scripture tells us that when we are surrounded by despair, God is holding out His hand ready to pull us out of the pit and into His loving arms. We just have to be willing to go to Him. God says, “Return to the LORD your God, for He is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish” (Joel 2:13).
These attributes of God alone are enough to spark hope! God is a God of compassion and unfailing love. He does not want us to wallow in our despair. He wants us to place our hope in Him and His unfailing love. The next time you hit rock bottom, call out to the Lord, and He will meet you right where you are. He alone is our hope!
"Who knows? Perhaps He will give you a reprieve, sending you a blessing instead of this curse." - Joel 2:14a
1. How can I change my mindset to hope in God instead of focusing on my despair?
2. How will I live differently, knowing that I can place my hope in the Lord?
Jesus, You remind me in Your Word that You are my hope. Without You, I have nothing to hope for. Help me to remember in my times of doubt and despair that You love me with unfailing love, and I can safely put my hope in You. Amen.
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