Finding Hope Amid Heartache and Chaos

2022 was a tough year. Many people in the world right now would say the same thing. We, as a nation, have faced some difficult times, with the continuation and constant mutation of Corona virus, the awful realization of various apparent side effects of the vaccines, a tumultuous political climate and rising prices in the marketplace that make it hard for the average person to feed their family and feel secure and safe. It would certainly be easy to fall away from the faith and lose hope in times like these.

In addition to our recent challenges as a nation, personally, 2022 was a tough year for me. I lost my 96 year old mother (actually at the end of 2021), a woman who had devoted her life to her family and her church, and had taught her children to love Jesus. I miss her very much. I lost a favorite, precious aunt of mine—suddenly– only days after I had stayed with her in her home. I became a victim of identity theft that resulted in a financial loss and required months of analysis and tedious work to repair. (It was one of those “never thought it would happen to me” events.) My husband went through two extensive surgeries that required significant recovery time. I was his primary “nurse” and caregiver which stretched and challenged me in many ways. My husband and I eventually both got COVID for the first time, in spite of all our precautions and our meticulous use of hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes and vitamins. And finally, my last child and only daughter graduated from college, married, and moved out of our home. I know that is a happy event and we are so blessed to have a wonderful new son-in-law, but it was a major life change. We became empty-nesters!

I can’t say that I consistently navigated this past year with joy and positivity. There were times when I felt anxious, frustrated, sad, depressed even—but when I experienced feelings like these and began to sink emotionally, there was always a solid place upon which I fell. That solid ground was my faith in Jesus and the surety that he was there to uphold me. My hope, my help, and my rescue… is in Jesus.

We are told in God’s Word that we will face trials and difficulties in this world—a world which is not the final home for believers but instead, a temporary home tainted by sin. John 16:33 says, “These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Jesus knows our struggles. He himself suffered unimaginable pain during his 33 years on this earth. We are not alone in our grief, sadness and heartache. In fact, our tears are precious to Him. In Psalm 56:8 King David writes, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”

We, as believers, need not face anything alone. Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

There is purpose in our pain. God is making us more like Him as we respond to the difficulties in our lives. He is refining us just as precious metals are refined by fire. “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ…” 1 Peter 1:6-7

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

The fact is, ultimately, believers are citizens of heaven and nothing can impede us from our final destination. Something I say frequently within our family when someone’s under stress is, “What is the worst thing that can happen?” Well, the very worst thing would be the end of our physical life. But, what happens next? Believers are immediately in the arms of Jesus—for eternity—not a bad worst-case scenario. Agreed?

Before Jesus returned to heaven after His resurrection, he told His disciples this: “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me. In my father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3

Friend, if you are not sure of your final destination, you can be! It’s as simple as placing your faith and trust in Jesus Christ and accepting His free gift of salvation. Here are the facts:

We are all sinners. If you have ever lied (even a little white one), cheated or stolen so much as a pencil, then you have sinned. The first step is to admit that fact about yourself. The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 Sin originated in the garden with the first humans, Adam and Eve, and man has been under sin’s curse ever since.

“As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no, not one’…” Romans 3:10

Because we are sinners, we cannot be in the presence of a holy God. God wants nothing more than to restore us to himself, therefore, He provided a way. He sent His only son, Jesus, to this earth, to die, as a payment for our sin.

God calls all men to believe in Jesus Christ—to acknowledge Him as the Son of God and to place their trust in Him. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

“For God so loved the World that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life” John 3:16

Lastly, we must confess our faith in Jesus as the only way to salvation. Romans 10:9-10 says, “…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

“Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

So, it’s as simple as ABC—admit, believe, confess. Then tell someone you have taken this incredible, life-changing step and look for a Bible-teaching church to attend where you can grow, learn and serve.

I hope 2023 will be a better year for all of us. However there is one thing I know: It will have its share of trouble and heartache. But Jesus will be there—to comfort, heal and help. When things get tough, turn to Him in prayer and remember this mama’s words of wisdom: “What’s the worst thing that can happen?”

Thanks for reading! I hope this encouraged you.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6

About Heart of the Matter

I am a southern wife and mom who loves reading, music, studying the Bible, and playing a game of tennis now and then. I also enjoy spending time at the beach and have amassed quite a seashell collection. I love all things southern: sweet tea, magnolia trees, comfort food and entertaining. I live in awe of what my Savior has done for me and desire to share spiritual encouragement with others.
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1 Response to Finding Hope Amid Heartache and Chaos

  1. Honey says:

    If it’s okay, he’s fine.  We are watching a movie

    Like

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