By Linda Tancs

What is hope? Dictionaries define hope as a belief that something is attainable. Biblically, we can define it as trusting, leaning on and relying on God to deliver us in every situation (Psalm 25:2). Hope begins on the inside with an expectation that God will provide whatever we need, both externally and internally.

So what happens when we lose hope? Proverbs 13:12 says that hope deferred makes the heart sick. Unlike deferred compensation in the business realm (which will get to you eventually), deferred hope is a loss of expectation, a state of despair. Despair provokes the attitude that it’s useless to hope for a better tomorrow.

Innumerable situations are ripe for producing despair, like the loss of property from a natural disaster, long-term unemployment, domestic abuse and chronic health conditions. How do you rekindle hope when you’re hurting? Romans 15:13 reminds us that God is our source of hope. When you place your faith and trust in Him, then the Holy Spirit works in you to restore hope.

Let go and let God. That’s what Job did. A man of exemplary faith, he never lost hope in God despite traumatic loss of his family, wealth and health. His persevering faith was rewarded in the end with a restoration of his fortunes. And, in the end, (like Job) the fulfillment of your hope will be a tree of life as promised in Proverbs, mending your heart, mind, body and spirit.

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