Not only is Christ the source of genuine hope; He is also the restorer of lost hope. Unless we’re vigilant in guarding our perspective, many situations can erode optimism and trust. Biblical principles are the best defense against such discouragement.
When difficult circumstances are unrelenting, life can seem devoid of joy and meaning. But Romans 5:1-5 tells us that God has a much different take on the value of trials. We are eager for our Father to just fix the problem or relieve the suffering, but He has an eternal goal in mind. His purpose in trials is to produce character in us, which will lead to hope, not disappointment.
Personal failure is another thief of hope. Sometimes discouragement results when we come short of our own expectations. This may be evidence that we have trusted in our own abilities and plans rather than in the Lord’s. Remember that “our adequacy is from God” (2 Corinthians 3:5).
At other times we might lose hope because, despite our efforts, we cannot live a victorious Christian life. Old flesh patterns may seem to be winning the battle. But just as the failure originates within us, so does the solution—with the indwelling Holy Spirit. If we surrender to His authority and live in reliance upon Him, He will begin to transform us from the inside out.
Hopelessness is a miserable trap that blinds a believer to the Lord. The only way out is to deliberately focus on Jesus Christ through praise, prayer, and Scripture. This is probably the last thing a discouraged person wants to do, but hope awaits those who are willing to see life from God’s perspective.