In Chapter 6 of Exodus, God and Moses are talking strategy. God has given His word and has every intention of following through on it. For the past 400 years, slavery has been a way of life for the Hebrews. Other than Moses, not one of them, not even their parents, their grandparents or their great-grandparents had ever experienced freedom.
Although the people believed Moses when he showed them signs and wonders, that was then. Day after day of harsh working conditions and no mercy from Pharoah diminished any hope they had of ever escaping from Egypt. And their faith in the Promised Land had dwindled to nothing. Instead of focusing on God and His promise, all they could see was themselves and their sad situation.
Losing hope is like a boxer throwing in the towel and hanging up his gloves. He might still be in the ring, but there’s no fight left in him and certainly no hope of winning. That’s a dangerous place to be. It changes your entire outlook on life and colours everything dismal. David was feeling hopeless when he wrote Psalm 42, “Why so downcast, O my soul? Put your hope in God: for I shall yet praise Him…”
Losing hope is the result of placing your hope in your own ability (or lack thereof). Your view of how things will turn out becomes reality instead of seeing the bigger picture and believing God to see you through. It’s one thing to lose faith. But it’s an entirely different matter to lose hope.
When you have no hope, you have no vision for the future. And when that happens, it’s not long before discouragement and depression move in. When they arrive, motivation moves out. We all know someone who’s been out of work for an extended period of time and can’t seem to get off the couch to send a resume.
Because David knew that God would come through on his promise, it changed his entire outlook from hopelessness to faith. That’s how he was able to take control of his emotions and give God praise even before his circumstances had changed. Unfortunately, the Hebrews would take a lot longer to figure this out. But Moses went ahead without them despite his own doubts and was later commended for his faith in God in the book of Hebrews.
Have you ever gotten to the point where you not only lost faith, but all hope that things would ever turn around? Maybe you’re there right now. If so, I want to encourage you that God is working in ways you cannot see. The best thing you can do is take everything to God and allow Him to renew your hope and faith in Him. Because He is good, His plan for you is good. Knowing that can make all the difference.
Please feel free to share your story, thoughts or encouragement for others.