Sept 20th Devotion

Hope
Charles Swindoll


Can you remember a recent "gray slush" day? Of course you can. So can I. The laws of fairness and justice were displaced by a couple of Murphy's Laws. Your dream dissolved into a nightmare. High hopes took a hike. Good intentions got lost in a comedy of errors, only this time nobody was laughing. You didn't soar, you slumped. Instead of "pressing on the upward way," you felt like telling Bunyan to move over as you slid down into his Slough of Despond near Doubting Castle, whose owner was Giant Despair. Discouragement is just plain awful.

One of the greatest benefits to be gleaned from the Bible is perspective. When we get discouraged, we temporarily lose our perspective. Little things become mammoth. A slight irritation, such as a pebble in a shoe, seems huge. Motivation is drained away and, worst of all, hope departs.

God's Word is tailor-made for gray-slush days. It sends a beam of light through the fog. It signals safety when we fear we'll never make it through. Such big-picture perspective gives us a hope transplant, and within a brief period of time, we have escaped the bleak and boring and we're back at soaring.

God has an ultimate goal in mind: that we might have hope. And what leads to such a goal? Two things: perseverance and encouragement from the Scriptures. Again, the goal is hope. God has not designed a life of despondency for us. He wants His people to have hope. And such hope comes from the teaching of the Bible. Through endurance and through encouragement from the Scriptures, we can gain hope.

He promises us hope—relief from discouragement. Yes, it's available. And we can actually stand firm through discouraging times but only if we apply His instructions. Hard as it may be for you to believe, you will be able to walk right through those "gray slush" days with confidence. The One who gives perseverance and encouragement will escort you through the down days, never leaving you in the lurch.

Discouragement may be awful, but it is not terminal.
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