5 min
By: Camille Paguiringan

Soul Care: How can I end 2021 with hope?

We may have started the year full of hope that things will be better than the year before. And yet our hopes may have been greatly diminished by repeated lockdowns and worse news than we’ve received the previous year. How could we still be in the wilderness? Has God forgotten His promise to us?

This whole “promised land” idea was a favorite of mine growing up. It typically symbolized “happier days” or “better places to be.” Even more so when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. All I could think about was the purposelessness of my days being stuck in the house and the fear of not just catching the disease, but what I could lose because of it. As months passed and things worsened, this “promised land” I so desired seemed farther and farther away. At some point, it made it feel that so was God.

There was a time I thought to myself that I would have more faith, courage, confidence, or joy, if only I had the things I’ve been praying for. This sometimes morphed into, “Maybe, if I had more faith, courage, confidence, or joy, then I’d have the things I’ve been praying for.”

Guess what? Neither proved to be true. Even when I had the things I had been praying for, I had no faith, courage, confidence, or joy. In fact, it highlighted even more my fears, insecurities, and my inability to trust God. And that’s when I realized that I expected these “blessings” to give me what only God could: security and identity. I realized that God’s promises and favor follow His character and His will, not my desire or my will. That meant, I couldn’t strive my way out of my suffering nor could I anchor my faithfulness to my circumstances.

Change comes at the right time and place.

Prayers are answered His way.

I really need His grace.

I could try to gain a sense of understanding or search for more reasons as to why life isn’t the way I hoped it would be but ultimately, it’s not up to me. It’s never been up to me whether the sun will rise the next morning or the earth will continue to spin, and yet they do. I need to trust the one who has always made sure they do. Because He was still looking at me wholeheartedly desiring to give me what I’ve actually always needed: Himself.

For before the “promised land” was a Person, a Person who committed the greatest act of love by dying on the cross for all our sins in the past, present, and future.

He was the sacrifice who became the hope on which our lives are welcomed to rest upon.

Coming to a point of fulfillment wasn’t going to come from getting the job, the relationship, the breakthrough, etc. It was going to come from the Father who is with us as we journey into these things. Within the confines of His love, hope is assured.

The past days, weeks, months, or even years may have been tough, and I can’t pretend I understand what each of you are going through.

But God does.

So stay with Him.

Keep going . . . 

. . . long enough to see that He is enough; to believe that He is enough.

. . . until this becomes true to you as it was to Paul:

I know how to get along and live humbly [in difficult times], and I also know how to enjoy abundance and live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret [of facing life], whether well-fed or going hungry, whether having an abundance or being in need. I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:12–13‬ (‭AMP‬‬)

About the author
Camille Paguiringan

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