Finding hope for tomorrow


High school was a tough time for me. My best friend, who had graduated the year before, passed away in a car accident, and my brother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. On top of that, my mom received the devastating news that she was going blind. I used to sit on the bathroom counter, watching her put on makeup. I wondered how you could see one day and be blind the next. I prayed for her and my brother while grieving the loss of my friend. It was a lot for a teenager to handle.
Forty-six years later, I realized those difficult years passed, and my faith was strengthened through them. I wish I could explain why bad things happen to good people, but it rains on the just and the unjust. God causes the sun to rise in the good and the evil (Matthew 5:45).
Job was considered a just man, yet he suffered overwhelming losses. Still, despite facing immense suffering, Job never wavered in his faith in the Lord. The Book of Job teaches us to hope in life’s darkest moments because hope restores the soul.
God did not withhold the hand of evil from Job any more than he withheld evil from His Son, Jesus. Throughout scripture, we see the suffering of the heroes of faith and their courage to persevere. Their suffering caused them to endure incredible trials, which built their character, and their character gained hope beyond their circumstances.
Hope is a tangible force that drives us forward beyond current circumstances (Romans 5:3-5). When hope gains wings in man’s soul, nothing can diminish man’s faith. Hope and faith interlock with each other.
In those high school moments when I was trying to find myself, God was teaching me to see Him. Over the years, I have survived many trials, and with each trial, my faith has grown stronger. My brother lost the battle with cancer, living six years beyond his prognosis. He became a spiritual inspiration to many during those six years because his hope was in God.
Mom eventually lost her sight. One day, she could see, and the next day, she could not. However, I believe she could see things of a heavenly nature. We do entertain angels unaware (Hebrews 13:2).
I don’t know where life has led you or the difficulty of your situation, but I know there is hope. God is with you; He will never leave you, and God will never forget about you. The Lord is always close by.
Trials come to us all; that is the nature of the world in which we live. The nature of the spiritual world is learning to open our eyes to see God in the good and the bad. The Psalmist teaches us to question our soul and to put our trust in the Heavenly Father, praising Him in all things (Psalm 42:5).
Honestly, if we do not give up on doing good, in time, we, too, will see God’s hand guiding us safely (Galatians 6:9) through the trials of this world.
Let us be encouraged in hope. In those moments when we feel like giving up, remember that as long as we have His breath of life, He has not given up on us.
Talk to your Heavenly Father today. Give Him your pain, disappointments, and grief, and allow Him to give you hope for tomorrow.

James 1:12: Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

Cheryl Mixon-Cruce is Pastor of Ochlockonee Bay United Methodist Church and Sopchoppy United Methodist Church.