Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hold on to Hope

Dear Readers:
Today I thought I would share a devotional that I wrote. I hope these thoughts and Scriptures bless you.

Hold on to Hope

By Marlene Depler

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up (Galations 6:9).

Gardeners all have moments of weariness. They prepare the soil and plant seeds. They fertilize and water. Weeds are pulled until the back aches and perspiration drips. Gardeners may rest along the way, but they soon return to their toil. Why? Hope of harvest spurs them on even when they are tired. They anticipate slicing the first juicy tomato and cutting open a sweet watermelon. In time, their diligence and perseverance are rewarded.

Life is much like gardening. Doing the right thing and living well aren’t always easy. It takes effort to obey God. In the process, everyone experiences the malady of weariness from time to time. The cacophony of daily challenges and difficulties has a way of depleting energy. Physical or emotional exhaustion sets in. Efforts to serve may seem pointless. Weeds of discouragement take root.

Does this describe you? Are you worn out? Are you in the midst of something that has left you weary? Demands at work? Financial pressure? Health issues? Concerns over your children? Relational difficulties? Lack of appreciation for your ministry sacrifices? Have your best efforts failed to obtain the desired outcome? You are not alone.

God recognizes the human propensity towards giving up during seasons of weariness. He knows how easily hope is diminished and perspective is skewed. Thus, through the words of the apostle Paul, God encourages each believer not to give up. Because he knows that the heart craves hope, God reminds his children to refocus on the promise of an eventual harvest.

When the weariness sets in, know that it’s normal. Use it as a warning sign. You may be in need of rest. Jesus knew what his disciples needed when he said; “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:31). As we allow God to strengthen and refresh us, we can regain renewed vigor to continue loving, serving and giving. Once eternal perspective is regained, you can again eagerly await God’s promised harvest at the appointed time. Endurance eventually pays off. Hold on to hope!

Questions for reflection:

  • In what ways are you experiencing weariness or discouragement? 
  • What needs to be done to help to re-energize you? Rest? The encouragement of a friend? Renewed perspective on the promised reward?
  • Think of a past example of when perserverance paid off.
  • Within your circle of family and friends, who needs your words of encouragement right now?
Today: I will not lose hope. I will share this hope with a friend who is weary and in need of encouragement.

Additional References:

Isaiah 40:29-31

Matthew 11:28

Psalm 62:5

Romans 5:5

Hebrews 11:1

(c) Marlene Depler Permisssion required to reprint in any form.



NanaNor's said...

Hello my friend, I hope you are surviving in the cold weather-although I'm glad it isn't snowing.
I loved this post-such good insight into life. I think of you often and hope we can get a date on the calendar soon.
Hugs, Noreen

Midlife Mom said...

Great devotional, something that I needed right at this time concerning some issues. You have a wonderful way of putting things into words, I admire your writing!