“I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die (1 Kings 17:12).”

These were the despairing remarks of a widow in the time of a great famine. Why wasn’t she out trying to find a solution or looking for help?

We do and say some of the craziest things when we feel that there is no hope. It is staggering to see the drug epidemic devastate so many families. Tragically, too many people are depressed and taking their own lives. Numerous issues are plaguing our society and may point to one critical word: hopelessness.

Some cannot see beyond their discouraging circumstances and feel it is a wasted effort to look for a solution. People, professionals, and even religion can fail us, but there is a life line available to all. Jesus is our ever present help in the time of trouble.

An encouraging scripture can be found in 1 Peter 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

This scripture points to the fact that Jesus is our living hope. He is not a make believe happy place for those who need to think more positively. He is not just another religion that offers vain promises and eases our consciences. The abundance of his mercy is just one reason to be optimistic. Jesus offers forgiveness of our sins, strength in our weaknesses, and a change that will make us new people.

We don’t have to be stuck in the cycle of sin and failure. The cross can lift us out of the clutches of spiritual bondage.

God’s plan for our lives is another promising factor that offers real hope. A popular scripture recorded in Jeremiah 29:11 declares, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

Although storms come and trouble knocks at our doors, God has many awesome things in store for us. At times we may feel that life is so horrible, that nothing great will ever come of it. Satan will lie to us and say that our situations will never change.

We must remember that the end result will be incredible. We go through storms, but the Lord is leading us somewhere purposeful. He says his plans are peaceful, prosperous, and hopeful for us. If we walk according to his will, he will give us that expected end that is longed for. Trust in Christ today and embrace that living hope.

Ralph & Elizabeth Pyszkowski, Your Brother & Sister In Christ. All comments are welcomed at rpyszkow@gmail.com.