Hard times and disappointments happen in life. Teach kids to resist hopelessness and despair by trusting in the promises and character of God. Find out how.
Have you ever asked, “what’s the point?” Maybe this is what pops into your mind when you’ve worked all day to make the house spotless, and then the kids run inside, leaving tiny (or big) muddy tracks through the whole house. Maybe this phrase seems to apply to almost every part of life right now because things are so HARD. But we aren’t the only ones who feel this way— sometimes our kids do too.
Our kids struggle when a friend is untrue for the third time in a row, when a parent leaves, and when school is tough and never gets easier. During these times, our kids might honestly wonder, “What is the point of it all?”. They may begin to feel that if this is all there is to life, they don’t like it much. Sometimes big disappointments happen in life—maybe they don’t make the team, or they struggle to make friends, or they discover the cancer returned. Perhaps they just feel burdened with hopelessness when they look at all the sin surrounding them in this world.
All these hard things we face in life can pull our eyes off Jesus. We start looking around at the stormy waves, and they become all we can see. We forget the One who called us and His power to preserve us through the storms and darkest valleys. When our focus is on the struggles that surround us, we aren’t remembering the truth of our hope that comes from Jesus and NOT the circumstances in our lives. These struggles in life are nothing compared to the hope God offers us and our kids every single day!
There is Hope for Your Life
It’s easy to be weighed down by everyday struggles. There are times when we have tensions in our families; needs and wants go unmet; the future seems so uncertain. Sometimes crises crash into our lives—like cancer, friends moving away, or divorce—and we are left feeling hopeless. Our kids may struggle to find friends at school or church and, as a result, become closed off to us. Yet, there is hope for each of these situations. Our feelings of hopelessness or the temptation to give up in despair does NOT have to dominate our lives.
The truth is, we have hope for every single day of our lives. No matter how boring, chaotic, or joyful those days are—God has put us here for a purpose. Before the earth was even formed, God was God (Psalm 90:2). He was sovereignly and lovingly in control then, and He is still always in control! This God tenderly knits each of us together in our mothers’ wombs (Psalm 139:13-16) and gives us life. Then, He saves us and uses our obedience to Him to show His glory (Ephesians 2:10). Not only this, but He promises to continue growing us and working on us until He takes us home to heaven one day (Philippians 1:6). Praise Jesus! When we remember His purpose, we can speak patient words instead of cutting ones. We can smile kindly instead of scowling. We can pray prayers of trust and thankfulness in times of fear or need. All of this is because we find our hope in God’s great kindness and goodness to live a life for Him!
There is Hope For your Soul
Though the physical demands and needs of this life often occupy our minds, this life is not all there is! God has made us spiritual beings who have souls. When He saves us, He gives us spiritual life that lasts far beyond our days on earth. This life lasts for eternity.
Our hope in Jesus and the spiritual life we receive through Him is the anchor of our souls when hard times come (Hebrews 6:19-20). Through the fear of the dark, losing our home, betrayal, or disease, Jesus holds us steady. When waves are crashing against us and threatening to pull us under, our certain, joyful hope provides peace and safety. Nothing can shake God’s promises to us or snatch us out of His hands (John 10:28). When this earthly life is over, we will go to be with our Father in the place He is preparing for us (John 14:1-3). What a hope—to spend eternity with our Savior!
There is Hope Because He is Faithful
Finally, we have hope because our God is FAITHFUL! He will not forget any of His promises or fail to fulfill them. Though we feel alone in our days or in our struggles, our Good Shepherd walks alongside us, leading us to green pastures and still waters (Psalm 23:1). We have hope because His love for us is steadfast and never comes to an end (Lamentations 3:21-22). His mercies are new every single morning (Lamentations 3:23). He is all we need and all our hope rests in Him—His character and His promises.
So when your kids feel completely overwhelmed and out of control, they must remember their Father is faithful. When friends betray or lie, they can rest in the fact that our God is truth and never lies. When they lose what is precious to them, they can rejoice that God has promised to never leave them or forsake them (Hebrews 13:5). Even in the midst of hard things in life, God is always faithful.
Remembering the Hope Within You
God’s Word teaches us about all these reasons for our hope. It is by reading and knowing God’s Word that our hearts learn to cling to the hope He gives us in the face of doubt and despair! So, to help your kids discover the promises and character of our God, we have written Abounding in Hope: How to Resist Hopelessness and Despair. This new Bible study will point your kids to the truth about God that will help them counsel the feelings of hopelessness they may have. Hopelessness and despair are no match for the promises God has made to His children! As your kids learn about the certain hope Jesus gives us, they will grow in their ability to abound in hope during both happy and hard times.
Ever since she was a little girl, listening delightedly as her mom read books and poetry out loud to her, Jessica has been enraptured by the power of words. When she is not reading or scribbling down poems of her own, Jessica can most likely be found hiking with her husband or trying out new recipes. She has yet to discover at what point plants, journals, and coffee mugs become *excessive,* but is sure she can still find room for one or two more. Through her bachelor’s degree in English Literature, opportunities to write for various small publications, and experience as a Staff Writer for Not Consumed Ministries, Jessica has grown in her passion for writing and desire to share that passion with others. As she seeks to show the goodness and beauty of God in her calling as a writer-wife-homemaker, Jessica hopes to encourage you in your relationships with family, friends, and most importantly, in your relationship with Christ.