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Do I Have Any Hope in this Life? (5 Quick Thoughts)

Updated: Jun 27

When I hear the question, “Do I have any hope in this life?” I immediately take note of the sever pain from which this question arises. Those who know little trouble and only acute hardship do not ask such a desperate question. This question bubbles up from a heart set over intense heat for a long duration.

“Will I ever know relief? Can I hope this affliction will pass?”

I know two individuals who in their great suffering came to me asking this question. The first knew the experience of a drug-addicted father who preferred the next fix over his wife and two daughters. She watched him go in and out of jail. She knew an internal war between the desire for a present, caring father and a desire that he would just go away. His presence often proved worse than his absence.

The second gave birth to a daughter whose heart failed to function properly. This mother watched her sweet child suffer for about one year before the child's frail heart quit. While the little girl’s heart eventually found relief and tranquility, the heart of the mother continues to this day under a cloud of sorrow and grief. Some days the cloud allows a little more light than on others, but on many occasions a thick darkness smothers her soul.

From great pain comes the question, “Do I have any hope in this life?” If you ever hear one ask this question you will notice the unmistakeable desperation in his or her voice, even if the question comes to you in the soundless form of written words. These have searched the world over for hope and found little if any reason to think relief will come.

To them I offer 5 Quick Thoughts.

‌1. I See and Hear Your Cry, and So Does God.

You know great pain, great sorrow, and great affliction. You know the agony of a heart ripped into a thousand pieces. You understand the psalmist who sung from his depressed state,

I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping. - Ps. 6:6

Such grief is real, intense, and often long-lasting.

Know first that your pain and trouble occur in the sight of God. He knows. He sees. When your eyes stream with tears, your heart bleeds in agony, and your mouth cries out in desperation, God the Father takes note. You have not been forgotten. Your grief shows up on God’s radar; He has missed nothing.

‌You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? - Ps 56:8

The great comfort of knowing God sees and hears comes from the knowledge that He cares. God watches us as we suffer not as an enemy watches the downfall of his adversary, or as my wife watches golf. The enemy sees the wounds of his foe and rejoices. My wife watches the golfers maker their way around the course with a knowledge of what took place but lacking any interest or care. She knows what happens but cares not about the outcome.

God, on the other hand, sees and hears your pain with great interest, concern, and care for you. He counts your anxious turns in the bed, the number of tears traversing down the curves of your cheeks. He knows them all because He cared deeply for you.

‌2. Yes, You Have Hope in This Life.

We can use the word “hope” in either of its forms - as “wishful thinking” or a “certain expectation”- and the statement remains true in both cases. If we take hope as “any possibility” or “any chance” or “any reason to think” that relief will come and circumstances will improve - we posses great grounds for hope in this life, for we belong to a Father who lacks no resource. He possesses all power and strength. Over all creation He knows absolute authority. He only needs to speak. Whatever He decrees shall come to pass.

‌My God is so big, so strong and so mighty. There is nothing my God cannot do. The mountains are His, the rivers are His the stars are His handiwork too!

No reason exist that God cannot reverse the growth and bring an end to a tumor’s existence. God with a few words may redirect storms, restore the proper function of paralyzed limbs, heal a marriage, and bring back a wayward child. He even might raise a child from a tiny casket. He CAN do it, and since He can do it, there is hope in this life. There is possibility that whatever plagues your life and heart might know an end. There is nothing too hard for God; therefore, we have reason at minimum to hold on to the possibility that a change in our circumstances might come.

‌3. You Have Reason for More than the Wishful Thinking, You Have a Certain Expectation.

Though we often refer to hope as wishful thinking - a holding onto hope as a holding on to the slimmest possibility - the Bible speaks of our hope as a certain expectation. God through His word offers us a sure and steady hope, a future sealed for us, and an outcome guaranteed.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. - Heb. 11:1

The believer has an assured hope, a deeply held confidence standing on an unchangeable reality that though the desired object has yet to appear it will. The future of the believer in this life and in the life to come shines with glory.

This hope stands on the truth about God Himself. He has made promises to you - His child. He will not break His promises. His word stands sure. If He says, “I will do it!” You can possess full, assured hope that He will do it.

‌4. Not Every “Hope” We Have Stands on the Assurance of God’s Promises.

The young wife who desires to bring a child into this world does not have a specific promise that she will know motherhood. Could God do it? Yes! Will He? We do not know.

He opens the womb and He closes it according to His purposes by the power of His sovereign hand. Why does He open for one and close for another? We do not know, for

‌How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! - Rom 11:33

Whatever change of our circumstances we long to see before we die may not come to pass. As God said to the apostle Paul who hoped to have the thorn in his flesh removed, He may say to you and me,

“No, though I have the power to bring you relief, I will not.” (See2 Cor. 12)

When God says to Paul and to us, “No you will go without,” He breaks no promise and commits no injustice. He never promised us a life under the sun free from the affects of sin, neither does He owe us such and experience.

‌5. Fight to Trust What Is Promised

Thankfully God does offer to us several promises that possess great power to improve our condition in this life.

‌God has never and will never leave nor forsake you.

His Spirit resides in you. He busily works in you and around you in every detail of your life. You may not sense His presence nor detect the motion of His hands, but know you are not alone.

‌Your tears will not go wasted.

Your loss of a child, the deterioration of your marriage, the years lost to a battle with cancer, your painful chldhood - from them glory leading to joy will come. You do not suffer for nothing. Your eternal joy and delight in God will know greater intensity and reach maximal heights not inspite of your trouble but precisely because of your trouble. They great joy of reuniting with a lost loved one only comes through the great pain of losing. We cannot comprehend all the joys and pleasure to come, but we can be sure that what awaits us will be colored and prepped by our present troubles.

‌God promises to strengthen, preserve, and keep you.

As the great hymn declares, “He will hold [you] fast!” He will bring you through the storm. He will equip you. He will not let the pain destroy your faith and your soul. The clouds of sorrow may darken your heart for a day, months, decades, or even most of your life, but His Spriit will watch over the souls of His children.

‌God promises to reward you with Himself.

To those who seek Him, He promises to make Himself known. Those who know Him will see for themselves that He is worthy of the pursuit. Can you have joy in this life? Do you have any hope? Yes! for God the Lord may be known.

He Himself is so good that He stirs up and sustains inexplicable joy in the hearts of the tearful so that His people though they know sorrow also at the same time know great joy. They weep and they sing praises with delight simultaneously, for their trouble is real and their God is great!

For all of these reasons, yes! You have hope in this life.

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