Persistence and hope are two very powerful words and concepts in their own right, but God just taught me the massive truth bomb these two words are together; capable of obliterating the darkest lies. Persistent Hope is the nuclear weapon of our faith that wipes out the darkness. Or, as I experienced recently, when I feel like I’m going under and darkness is taking over, it is persistent hope, when activated, that propels me back to the surface like an underwater lift bag.
Let me explain…
We all have moments during which circumstances, thoughts, emotions, or a spiritual presence is so overwhelming that it feels like there’s no way out. For me, late at night is when the enemy likes to come in and put thoughts in my head that I’m worthless, a nobody, and unusable. My thoughts tell me that despite all my efforts, I’m neither successful nor making an impact in anyone’s life. Something small in me knows that these are lies but in that moment, the words cut deep and work overtime to choke out any thoughts of hope. The more I frantically search for a verse or some truth to come to mind, the more I hear the ugly words and they feel so true! The dark words in my head are so heavy and real I wonder how I’ll ever get them to lift. I feel despair breathing down my neck and there seems to be a stone pressing down on the top of my head.
Yet, even in the toughest moments of a spiritual/emotional/mental attack of the enemy of my soul, there’s an untouchable glimmer of hope. It may be very faint and fair away, but it’s there. There is one thing, and one thing only, in those dark moments that have kept me from giving in to the darkness and giving into deep despair… and that is persistent hope.
Down deep there’s a determination to reach out to hope like I’m frantically swimming to the surface for a life-saving gasp of air. That effort is spurred on by believing that what I’m experiencing is not true despite the very real facts and feelings of the moment. The hope that I’m desperate to cling to is the very real promises of God – not ethereal thoughts or fantasies, but solid promises that reach down, grab my hand, and pull me out of the miry pit. Promises such as:
- God has good things planned for me
- Jehovah, the Lord God, wants me.
- There’s a book about me, written by God Himself, and He planned out my life – and it doesn’t include darkness.
- There’s a promise that He brought me out of darkness and into the Light.
- No harm is part of God’s plan for me.
- He promises to be my rescuer, advocate, and judge when it does come (because satan has a plan for my destruction).
In those moments when the promises I so eagerly embraced at one time but are now barely perceptible and so far away it feels like I’m using my last bit of strength to remind my soul that there is yet hope.
Sounds a bit dramatic, I know. But if you’ve been swallowed up in darkness, you know what I’m talking about.
No matter how much the darkness tries to erase or drown out the light, there remains a persistent hope; even if barely perceptible. When distressing thoughts threaten to shut me down, when I press into Hope, every time, darkness stops its forward motion and begins to retreat. It cannot resist. It must lift.
This is what it means that the gates of hell will not prevail. They can not HOLD you in the darkness if your hope is in Jesus! The gates of hell will fall when you are persistent in hope, given to you through the uncancelable promises of God Almighty.
Put your hope in the Lord God, Jehovah, His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the power of Holy Spirit. Hope in anything else crumbles. Fill yourself with the promises of God. And even in the darkest moment, if all you can do is whisper, “help”, then that’s the best prayer you can pray because that cry for help is evidence of persistent hope in God and he will rescue you
If you find yourself in a hard place mentally or emotionally and you need help activating persistent hope, here are a few things I do when those moments come. Every one of these things puts your faith and hope into action!