Do you ever feel like you’re the only one who is “stuck”? Your prayers aren’t being answered, you feel abandoned, life is out of control, you’re grieving a loss, you’ve been betrayed by a friend, harassed by fear, and/or defeated with no hope. In fact, the cycle continues to repeat, and every time it does, the hole turns into a bottomless pit.
It’s time to stop and look beyond your present circumstances into hope for the future. The fact is…life can be hard. The truth is… God’s Word has power over every challenge. In I Samuel 1:9-14, we see an example of power found in hope.
Hannah’s greatest desire was to have children, but God had closed her womb. Also, her husband, Elkanah, married another woman. And to add insult to injury, Penninah kept having children and would mock Hannah for barrenness. In those days, the value of a woman was enhanced by their child-bearing capacities. Penninah continually reminded her of her lesser worth. Instead of remaining “stuck”, Hannah decided to look beyond her present situation and find hope by going to the temple to pray. God heard her cry and answered her prayer. Due to her earnest prayer, Hannah was able to receive the hope of a son.”
Jesus prepares us for life’s challenges. John 16:33, “…In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” When challenges come, a decision will be made that affects your future. Your decision will be “stepping stones” to have power in hope for your future or “stumbling blocks” to keep the cycle repeating.
Below are steps for breaking the cycle of being “stuck.”
- God prepares us. It’s inevitable; you will have challenges. Romans 5:3,4, “We glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
- Accept the challenge as an assignment for a greater reward. In God’s Sovereignty, He’s permitting the challenge to build enduring faith. Instead of asking God how to get out of this mess, ask him what he wants you to learn while your there. Hebrews 11:6, “Without faith it is impossible to please God… he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
- Resolve to guard every spoken thought and word. Your thoughts become words, and words define your future. Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”
- Make a choice to forgive any who have offended or hurt you. Matthew 10:14, “If you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you”.
- Choose to seek God, to pray, and to believe God’s promises. 2 Peter 1: 4, “He has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world….”
If you choose to respond like Hannah, great will be your reward. She chose to cast her care on Him and trust the One who gives us the desires of our heart. By looking forward in hope, the day came when she would hold her child. Psalm 25:5, Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. Keep looking beyond the situation and see power in hope for the future, and great will be your reward.
By: Pastor Susan Dyer