Jesus said we would all experience trials, yet he went on to tell us not to worry because He had overcome the world. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NIV). How do we hold on to hope when trials come and we don’t see a way out?
When trials come, and we know they will, the most important thing we can do is to switch our focus off our troubles and onto the Lord, the source of hope and healing. Instead of allowing our thoughts to be filled with worry, fear and anxiety, spending time in God’s word will give us peace that makes no sense in our worldly circumstances. Stand on the truths found in these 10 Bible Verses for hope and healing. Write them down. Place them around your house so you can be reminded of God’s promises for healing.
My doctor looked at me with compassionate eyes before looking in my file and then ultimately asking, “What made you finally come in?”
“I couldn’t take the pain anymore. I tried to endure and it was more than I could handle on my own. I had tried everything I knew to do and it wasn’t enough,” I replied, wondering if he would chastise me for waiting so long before seeking medical attention.
Even as I said it, I thought about how often I’m like that with God: trying to do things on my own before ultimately turning to Him for help when nothing I do makes the situation any better. So often we try to do things in our own way and our own strength, when God wants to give us His plan and His strength.
There is a reason God warns us not to depend on our own understanding—He knows better than we do.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take”
“I’m sure you suspect what might be going on here,” he suggested, with one knowing eyebrow raised.
“I do, but in this situation, I’ll let you be the doctor and I’ll be the patient for a change.”
He sent me for tests and then for more tests. Even then the results were inconclusive and left us with multiple differential diagnoses—none of which were good.
“I want to send you for another consult, STAT. I know you’ll be tempted to worry about this over the weekend, but I don’t want you to go there,” he cautioned.
Pain is a funny thing. It can take a normally strong person and drain every ounce of strength from you, leaving you weak and vulnerable.
Pain can make you question everything you know to be true, and doubt what you would previously swear by.
Pain can make you withdraw from your social network and from God, or reach out in need of help.
Gratefully, he took my condition and my pain seriously, and cautioned me not to let my thoughts run amuck on the playground of worry, fear, and anxiety because that is exactly where the enemy wanted me to go.
I knew what the differential diagnoses were, and I didn’t like them.
A friend wisely reminded me, “Doctors diagnose and help treat us. Surgeons operate. GOD heals!” He is our healer and He still heals today.
That was where my focus needed to be—on our source of hope and healing. As long as God is on His throne, hope prevails!
I had a choice to make: I could let my thoughts go down the rabbit trail with worry, fear, and anxiety, or I could spend time in the word, focused on scripture for hope and healing, stand on the truths in those scriptures, and determine to trust God with whatever we faced.
A Prayer for Trusting God to Heal
“Lord, I know this doesn’t take you by surprise. And I know that you are bigger than any diagnosis that looms. You are Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. You have not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and sound mind, so I choose right now to use my sound mind to trust you to heal whatever it is we are dealing with. I thank you for this current trial because I know you use the trials in our life to strengthen our faith. Use this even now, Lord, for my good and for your glory. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
After asking close friends to agree with me in prayer, I spent the next several hours in the Word, trusting the promises of God, declaring scripture for hope and healing out loud and claiming them for myself.
When you need healing, spend time in God’s word. Stand on the truths found in these 10 #BibleVerses for #hope and healing. Write them down. Place them around your house so you can be reminded of God’s promises for healing. #faith
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10 Bible Verses for Hope and Healing
If you or someone you love is in need of help, hope, or healing, I encourage you to declare these promises of God out loud and claim them for yourself as well. God’s word is alive and active, and it will not return void until it has accomplished what it was sent out to accomplish.
1. Jeremiah 17:14
“Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise” (Jeremiah 17:14 NIV).
2. James 5:14-15
“Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven” (James 5:14-15).
3. Jeremiah 30:17
“But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 30:17).
4. Jeremiah 33:6
“Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security” (Jeremiah 33:6).
5. 3 John 1:2
“Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit” (3 John 1:2).
6. Exodus 23:25
“Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you” (Exodus 23:25).
7. Isaiah 53:5
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
8. Isaiah 41:10
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
9. Isaiah 40:29
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak” (Isaiah 40:29).
10. Psalm 30:2
“LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me” (Psalm 30:2)
When you are in pain, instead of allowing your thoughts to be filled with worry, fear and anxiety, spend time in God’s word. Stand on the truths found in these 10 #BibleVerses for #hope and healing. #faith
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A Prayer for Healing
May I pray for you?
I pray for the one reading these words right now. I don’t know what they are facing, but you do. Whether they are in need of physical healing, emotional healing, relationship healing, financial healing, or something else, Lord we trust you to be their healer. You are Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. You are the Great Physician, our redeemer and restorer. Restore everything to perfect order, Lord. Work all things together for their good and for your glory. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Guest Contributor: Dr. Michelle Bengtson
We want to connect with you and encourage you! Click here to join our community of women over at our Sisterhood Conversations page!
For more hope, stay connected with Dr. Bengtson at:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrMBengtson (@DrMBengtson)
Emil Brunner has said, “What oxygen is to the lungs, such is hope to the meaning of life.” Hope. It’s what we all need. Without hope, what reason would we have to live?
Why do we crave it so desperately? In short, in a world that is so uncertain, we want control. We crave certainty and predictability. The problem with that is that it’s inconsistent with faith. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1 KJV).
The thing that God wants more than anything from us is for us to believe in Him, have faith in Him, trust Him, despite our circumstances, despite what we see. Keeping our faith means putting our hope in a God who never lies and always keeps His promises. It means choosing to believe, choosing to put our trust in Him, choosing to hope despite what we see or experience.
Scripture tells us in John 16:33 (NIV), “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” We all experience trials and difficulties: medical diagnoses, job loss, estranged relationships, financial despair, failed marriages, and so much more. Hopelessness gives us no reason to continue fighting, no reason to live.
In this world, we tend to use the word “hope” when what we really mean is “wishful thinking.” It’s the kind of hope that anticipates something that may or may never happen; things that we long for: “I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow;” “I hope my team wins the game;” “I hope we can get together soon;” “I hope I’m not late for work.”
This kind of “hope” suggests something that has the potential to be but offers no guarantees. It’s really akin to tossing a coin. That kind of hope is fleeting and unsatisfactory. It does nothing to abate our worry, fear, anxiety, discouragement, or despair, and often leaves us sitting on pins and needles.
That’s not the hope that God offers. Scripture tells us, “Your word is my source of hope” (Psalm 119:114). Those who have a relationship with God are offered a hope that means certainty because we know the God who never fails, never lies, and never breaks His promises.
As we read God’s holy Word, one thing that offers a hope that does not fail is one little word: will. Every time God says, “I will…” it always happens. When He told Abraham that He would bless him and multiply his descendants, it happened. When He told Moses He would harden Pharoah’s heart, He did. When He said He would bless the house of Israel, He did. When He said He would provide a Savior to rescue us, it happened.
During life’s most difficult times, when we need to hold onto something certain at a time when uncertainty rules, we need only look at the promises God has given us, in order for us to have hope:
During those times that we are tempted to feel hopeless, we must realize that is because we are putting our trust in people or things that are uncertain and may let us down. Instead, when we will put our hope, our faith, and our trust in God, we know that He will not disappoint. God never fails and never disappoints. We can trust in God, our hope in Him, with rock-solid certainty.
We want to connect with you and encourage you this week - Click here to join us over in the Sisterhood Conversation group as we dive into hope this month!
GUEST CONTRIBUTOR: DR. MICHELLE BENGTSON
Dr. Michelle Bengtson is an international speaker, and the author of the bestselling, award winning “Hope Prevails: Insights From A Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression” and the award winning companion “Hope Prevails Bible Study” and the recently released “Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises” (Sept 2019). She has been a board certified clinical neuropsychologist for more than twenty years. This doctor knows pain and despair firsthand and combines her professional expertise and personal experience with her faith to help others be all God created them to be. Using sound practical tools, she affirms worth and encourages faith. Dr. Bengtson offers hope as a key to unlock joy and relief—even in the middle of the storm. She and her husband of thirty-two years have two teenage sons and reside in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. She blogs regularly on her own site: http://www.DrMichelleBengtson.com and is on most social media platforms. She is also a host of the award-winning podcast, “Your Hope-Filled Perspective with Dr. Michelle Bengtson” at https://apple.co/2madPRo
For more hope, stay connected with Dr. Bengtson at:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrMBengtson (@DrMBengtson)
We all hope for things. We hope our sports team will win. We hope we will get a certain present for our birthday (come on pony!). We hope we will get a good grade on the test. We hope that things will get better. We hope all day, every day without even really thinking about it. But what happens when worry creeps in more than hope? When anxiety starts to reign in our lives?
In Romans 15:13 God is referred to as “The God of hope”. The whole verse is quite beautiful.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
Lately I have been struggling with truly feeling hopeful. Between quarantine, COVID scares, dissention in our country, concerns about friends in other countries, debates about vaccines, my oldest child being across the country, deadlines, emails….the list of things to be UNhopeful about is long and heavy.
This is NOT a helpful way of thinking though. God wants to fill us with joy and peace. He wants the Holy Spirit to help us abound in hope. Abound! That word isn’t used much these days. It means to have something in large amounts. He wants us to have large amounts of hope. And not the hope like we have for the pony we wanted for our birthday when we were six. Real sustaining, soul lifting, eternal, Godly hope.
In Psalm 42:5 King David talks about a time when this kind of hope was hard for him.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation”
He was feeling pretty crummy and reminded himself, and us, that we are to place our hope in God. So, let me get this straight. If I put my hope in God, then in turn God is going to turn around and fill me with hope, joy, and peace with my belief? That sounds like a pretty good deal to me. Here are 3 reminders I have found help me push through those moments...days...weeks...when hope seems to elude me.
1. Remember that God is not going to leave you.
In our children’s worship time this is something we are teaching them. It is a simple concept but certainly a hopeful one. To hear a room full of school age children shouting “God will not leave me - no matter what!” brings a smile to my face.
Deuteronomy 31:8 “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
2. God is here to help us when we struggle.
I love the mental image of God as a father holding our hand and helping us up when we fall. As a mother of a 2 ½ year old, I can say that a large part of my daughter’s time is spent getting up after falling down. Sometimes she pops right back up, but sometimes she needs a little help and comfort. We are just like that. God sometimes needs to pick us up, dust us off, give us a hug, and set us back on our feet.
Psalm 121:1-2 “I lift my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”
3. When we stop hoping in God, we can always turn around and start over again as forgiven daughters.
I can’t stay mad at my girls for long. Sometimes we argue it out. Sometimes we cry it out. Sometimes we laugh about it. We always move past it though with the beauty of forgiveness. God does that same thing for us. When we forget to put our hope in him like we are supposed to, he just waits for us to come around. Christ is our ultimate example of this.
Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Sisters, keep hoping. Keep hoping that things will get better. Keep hoping for Christ to come back. Keep hoping for the peace and beauty and perfection of God’s presence in Heaven. Keep hoping for your spouse and your children. It is one of the wonderful things that set us apart as believers. Hope is a beautiful and wonderful gift that God has given us. He wants us to believe in him and to fill us with it.
WRITTEN BY: Angie Reese
Fasting. The Lord has been saying that word to me over and over for a couple of months now. I haven’t known exactly what to do with it. Obviously I should fast, but from what? And for why? I struggled for awhile because I was concerned about my motivations behind agreeing to a fast. Is it because I just wanted to feel better? To lose a few pounds? Why was I really choosing to fast? What was I hoping to achieve with this fast? If the answer didn’t have some spiritual element to it, I was concerned I was just choosing to fast for selfish reasons. And yet… “FASTING” still rang loud and clear in my head and heart and I just knew it was the Lord.
Just last week, I had a friend invite me and some other people to do a 40-day fast together… from sugar.
If God had not already been saying “fast” to me, I would have said, “no thank you” to that invitation! Y’all. We just wrapped up the holidays which means I just wrapped up about 5 pounds on my person after all the lazing around, cookies, pies, and sweets. And soda… oh mercy. I need a soda once a day to survive the chaos that is my life.
That last sentence right there is why I knew that I needed THIS fast.
“I need a soda once a day to survive the chaos that is my life.”
I hit my limit and then I run to caffeine and carbonation to sustain me instead of Jesus. That hurts to admit, but it’s just plain true. Stop right here and ask yourself, “Where do you run when you hit your limit near the end of the day?” I’m not talking when your world falls apart, it’s easy to run to Jesus for the really big things, but what about the small things that we try to handle on our own? What do you need to help you handle it? What is your “soda”?
My eyes have been opened by one small sentence uttered in the corner of my mind as I read the introduction to the book guiding our fast. “I need a soda once a day to survive the chaos that is my life.” I can’t even handle a single day of my life without some sort of help. And to be truthful, soda may help for a moment, but it’s hurting me in so many other ways.
Sore and achy muscles.
Anxiety and irritation.
Trying to fill Jesus’ role in my life.
OUCH. That last one is painful, but I was confronted with that truth. I am turning to a sugary can of carbonation that is only hurting me in the long-run instead of the Living Water who only ever brings good into my life.
Why am I not just turning to Jesus? How did I get here?
Thinking about the fast coming up, I started to get very afraid of failure. “There’s no way I’ll be able to abstain from sugar for 40 days, I can hardly make it a day!” “Wow. How weak am I? I am afraid of putting down sugar for a few weeks.” “You’re just a fatty.” “You will fail at this.” “Other people know you’re fasting so they are all going to watch you fail because you cannot do this.”
Notice how the thoughts in my head went from me voicing my fears to the enemy making accusations?
When we allow fear-filled thoughts to swirl around in our minds, we open the door for the enemy to come and torture us. We start thinking his thoughts about us. We start believing lies about us and about God’s heart for us.
What happens when we take those fear-filled thoughts and questions and present them to the Lord instead of ruminating on them ourselves? He gives us hope for uncertainty.
I wrote in my journal all the reasons why I knew I was going to fail at this fast. All the reasons I was afraid to do this fast. I didn’t just confess these things to myself, I was confessing them to God. What happened next began a change in me… I gave him all my fears and uncertainties and in return, he handed me hope. My thoughts changed from questions and doubts to hopes and dreams.
What if this crippling anxiety eases up as I quit turning to sugar and turn to Jesus?
What if my body quits aching as I turn to Jesus over sugar?
What if my kids see a difference in me throughout the day?
What if my husband sees my attitude change?
What if our home is filled with more peace and joy… just because I let go of sugar and grabbed hold of Jesus?
What if I gain infinitely more than I lose in the next 40 days?
What if people see more of Jesus in me after this?
What if I hear His voice more clearly?
What if I crave his presence and am filled to overflowing?
What if I’m a new person on the other side of this?
Maybe you aren’t planning a fast. Maybe you’re thinking about one now! Go through this exercise written below and then allow the Lord to bring to your attention whatever your next step should be. Just take some time today to ask yourself, “What am I turning to instead of Jesus just to make it through the day?” If you’re like me, after answering that question and then thinking about giving it up… your mind may start swirling with fear. Maybe you don’t need to even answer that question for fear to start swirling. You may be walking through deep waters right now and are already filled with fear and uncertainty.
Whatever you’re going through, don’t allow the enemy to terrorize your thought-life by dwelling on uncertainty and fear. You don’t have to pretend those thoughts don’t exist. Burying our thoughts and emotions that are negative or uncomfortable doesn’t actually get rid of them. They’ll crop up in other ways. We can’t escape those things this side of heaven. You can’t just wish them away… you have to take them to the throne room. Those fears, questions, pains, sorrows… those all belong at the feet of Jesus, not stuffed in a forgotten corner of your mind or dark crevice of your heart. Share them with the Lord and allow him to give you hope in place of your uncertainty. Trade your sorrows for joy, your uncertainty for peace, and your fear for hope.
Here’s the take-away:
WRITTEN BY: Lyndsay Terry
Read more from Lyndsay @ www.lyndsayterry.com
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