I was recently talking with a friend, and he began to draw a parallel between a mutual acquaintance of ours and my childhood. The person in question is a real survivor and currently managing a rather chaotic existence. He said it reminded him of me and the untraditional life of my youth.
While there are similarities, I suggested there was a significant distinction between the two. Unlike this friend of ours who appears content with his troubled lot, I managed to survive abandonment and loneliness because of one main thing: I lived in a constant state of hope, always praying and dreaming that I might someday, someway, trade chaos for order and an unconventional family life for a traditional home.
Thomas Fuller once wrote that were it not for hopes, the heart would break. This is why the apostle Paul urged the Romans to “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12).
Hope in that which is noble can ease pain and bring comfort. Hope will help to keep despair and despondency at bay.
Here at Focus on the Family, I’m always thrilled to receive word from listeners and readers who tell us that the ministry has brought them hope in times of trouble. I’d like to share an excerpt of one such letter with you today, from a listener who appreciated our recent program with Dr. Kevin Leman:
“[I] tuned into the program Game Plan to Revolutionize your Marriage. I am just finishing up the second part and you are saying that the program is to give women hope and that is EXACTLY what it has done for me. My husband, a great man of God, but with struggles and has found it difficult to express his love for me in a way that I can understand. It has left me feeling lonely and unappreciated. Your two programs have infused me with new life, new hope, encouragement and new inspiration and power to love my husband… Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I cannot express enough how important this program was to giving me hope to keep fighting for my marriage and to not flee, as I have wanted to on many occasions! Praise the Lord for your lives and ministry! I entered this new year feeling almost no hope for change and not feeling strong enough to live another year like this past year was in our marriage, but thanks to you guys I have HOPE and know that God is going to give me the power to influence my husband to the greatness that I know is in him, that the Lord has placed in him. Thank you!
It’s encouraging to read of such a reaction, but it is the Lord who deserves all the credit. To Him we give all glory and praise.