through His Word
by Tessa Emily Hall
Writing a book is therapeutic for me. I find enjoyment through weaving together the tough aspects of life into a story that brings meaning to these hardships. A story that wraps up in a satisfying, happy ending.
Because this is what we yearn for in life, isn’t it? We long for hope in the midst of tragic circumstances. We yearn for meaning in the midst of pain. A reminder that, despite how our “story” might look right now, it will turn out all right in the end.
In my YA novel, Purple Moon, Selena grew up in a Christian home. She grew up believing in Jesus and that He had the perfect “fairy tale life” planned for her. But as she grew older, this hope began to diminish.
Her dad kicked her and her mom out of the house.
Selena and her mom moved from Kentucky to a cramped apartment in Brooklyn, NY.
And just like that, she went from being a kid full of hopes and dreams and laughter—to a caregiver for her now alcoholic mother.
Little by little, Selena’s hope of a “fairy tale life” vanished.
Can you relate to this?
Maybe you, too, envisioned the perfect future for your life—one that entailed getting into the perfect college, or starting your dream business before you reached the age of 30. Perhaps you imagined living the happily-ever-after marriage, one that was free of strife and hardships.
But over time, reality grew into focus. Those life goals transformed into simply “fantasies.”
Let’s face it: Life is dirty. It’s messy. And no, it doesn’t always turn out the way we imagined.
I believe it’s during these seasons when the enemy tries to plant lies in our heads—ones that cloud our minds and keep us from seeing anything beyond darkness and our current situation. These lies steal our joy, zap our strength, and keep us moving forward and into the plans God has for us. (See John 10:10.)
We forget that God has given us a purpose. That He can give us the strength to keep going, and that all things can turn out for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
So how can we remind ourselves of the truth and break free from this dark state of hopelessness?
1. Turn our thoughts toward God. Praise Him and trust Him in the midst of pain.
“Brothers and sisters, think about the things that are good and worthy of praise.” – Philippians 4:8 NCV
By lifting our eyes to Christ, the “dirty” aspects of our lives fade from view. When we do as Scripture says and meditate on the praiseworthy, our spirits begin to lift.
God’s light can pierce through the darkness when we praise Him in all circumstances (Psalm 34:1). Doing this can then enable us to view our lives from His perspective.
2. Remind ourselves of who God is and how He has proven Himself faithful in the past.
Scripture says that God is:
- Faithful (1 Thess. 5:24, Deut. 7:8-9; Joshua 23:14)
- Good (Psalm 119:68, Psalm 107:1)
- Bigger than our circumstances (1 John 4:4)
- Loving (Rom. 5:8, 1 John 4:7-12)
- Our companion (James 4:8, Psalm 9:10, Matt. 28:20)
- Can help us overcome any situation (Hebrews 13:6, Rom. 8:31-39)
Spend time to reflect and meditate on all that God is. By reminding ourselves of how He has proven faithful in the past, we can be encouraged that He will see our situation through once again.
3. Spend time with God.
When we spend time in God’s presence, we are filled with peace, joy, and love. This can, in return, give us the strength we need to face the day (Psalm 28:7).
Our life is only a vapor (James 4:14). The only thing that will last is our relationship with Jesus and the work we’ve done to build His kingdom.
God doesn’t want us to become like the Israelites and roam aimlessly around in the wilderness for years and years, unable to pull ourselves out of the hopeless state of mind.
Instead, let’s choose to trust that “joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5 NKJV), despite how dark the night appears. Let’s choose to lift our eyes beyond the wilderness—past our current circumstances—and see to the “land” beyond.
But even more than that: Let’s grow closer to God during these hardships and find fulfillment not through circumstances, but through Christ alone. Because ultimately, our hope shouldn’t lie in the illusion of “perfect circumstances” on earth.
Rather, it should rest in the promise of our eternal, problem-free life with Christ.
And that is our hope of a happy ending.
© Copyright 2016 by Tessa Emily Hall
Tessa Emily Hall spent her teen years writing about an imaginary girl whose life was far more interesting than her own. This resulted in PURPLE MOON (LPC), a 2014 Selah finalist.
She is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of PursueMagazine.net, a magazine that encourages teens to embrace their God-given purpose. Tessa enjoys making homemade lattes, cuddling with her Teacup Shih-Tzu, and acting in Christian films. You can find her on her website, blog, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.
hopelessness, hope, the character of God, Breaking the Chains: Hoping For a Happy Ending, Tessa Emily Hall, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies