The unknown future can be terrifying. It can seem like a gamble to put in effort and assume everything will work out. After everything we read online and see in the news, at times it can seem hopeless. However, this could not be more wrong. We always have tremendous hope.
Yes, life is not always blue skies, fields of flowers, and rainbows, but even on bad days and amid terrible suffering, we have a future full of hope. We have reason to believe suffering and evil are not the end. They may have their day, but goodness, joy, peace, and life will have the victory if we choose them.
The best part is we can enjoy this victory right now. The victory that Jesus won from His death on the cross can be experienced by anyone who wants it in this exact moment. We simply have to want it.
This want must be strong — stronger than a day’s worth of inclination toward it. We must be willing to make sacrifices for it and persevere. But before you get hung up on this idea of making sacrifices, know that God will help you.
When I was a daily drinker, unable to give up my addiction to alcohol out of fear of losing my ability to function around others, I gave God permission to enter my life. He helped me to overcome. He helped me sacrifice the things I clung to, in turn allowing Him to do much more.
The more I gave to God, the more He gave to me, eclipsing my sacrifices with something I don’t have the words to describe. He gave this to me because I wanted it, and I let Him take from me what He did not want for me. It was at times scary and uncomfortable, but always very good in the end.
This may still seem difficult to understand, so to say simply how we can get to this point of certitude, know we always have hope and never need to despair. Begin to pray as much as you can, and then add to it a little each day. Don’t simply ask God for things either. Spend time with Him. Sit in His presence.
When we pray, we are doing more than simply speaking with God. We are inviting Him into a deep, profound relationship with us. This is not like a conversation with the cashier at the grocery store. It’s more than a conversation with a friend.
God is living within our soul while in the state of grace. When we become aware of Him, we are lifted up, and our existence is instantly better. Think of what it’s like to feel extreme hunger and then eat a meal. This is what occurs in our soul. God has hastened to us to utterly and completely fulfill us. Even if we do not feel His breath as He draws close to whisper in our souls and make us more beautiful than any flower, He is there, moving within us.
The same God who shaped the mountains, designed the complex web of life found in the rainforest, and formed each drop of the ocean — this same God is with you now. The same God who lead the Israelites through the Red Sea out of their bondage to the Egyptians, the same God who aided young David to defeat Goliath, and then raised him up to be a mighty king. This same God has brought us freedom, helps us in our battles, and has raised us up to become the kings and queens in grace we are today. And He will continue to do this.
Prayer is knowing and loving God more and more each day. It’s a beautiful journey filled with growth, amazing memories, being struck (and I mean STRUCK!) with awe and wonder, and tremendous peace. Prayer is the spiritual version of what happens to humans as they travel on the planet earth revolving around the sun every 365 days to discover more and more about ourselves and the world. However, in prayer as we revolve around God, learning more about ourselves and everything around us, we grow closer to Him.
In this growth, we discover God is always rooting for us, never against us, and has plans for us to be completely fulfilled and never in pain ever again. The hard part can be getting to the point of certitude, especially with all the seemingly logical reasons to doubt Him.
Through prayer we can overcome these doubts by having our way of thinking renewed, by being made able to understand the truth and see the error of the lies aimed to bring us down, and experience God in a way that will satisfy all doubts and arguments against God’s word.
We can trust God is real and will take care of us more than we trust that gravity will hold us to the Earth. We can trust that God loves us and wants the best for us more than we trust that water will satisfy our thirst. We can trust that with God, we always have tremendous hope.