How To Never Lose Hope

From Paul Tripp Ministries

Suffering can be so hard for us. The pain—whether physical, emotional, relational, or spiritual—can become heart- and life-dominating. It will greet you in the morning, nag you throughout the day, and pull the last groan out of you before you fitfully sleep, assuming you can sleep at all.

All this pain tempts you to spend too much time and energy wishing for what once was and craving what others have that you’ve lost.

It’s as if life has winners and losers, and you’re on the losing team.

You might not be aware of it, but your suffering, the pain it produces, and your envy of others will lock you into a view of life that has a disastrous past and a painful present but is functionally without a future.

Have you ever felt as if what is will always be?

That’s an understandable emotion in the moment of frustration, grief, and suffering, but it’s fundamentally unbiblical.

This is vital to understand, to believe with all your heart, and to preach to yourself again and again: What is will not always be.

The biblical story is not an endlessly repeating cycle; it has a perfect beginning, a dark and painful middle, and a glorious end. There is a bright light in that dark and painful middle in the form of the only perfect man who ever lived. He came as the second Adam to succeed where the first Adam failed. He won an eternal victory on a criminal’s cross for you.

This tells you that you’re on the winning team. His victory is your victory, and that victory guarantees that the pain that now seems inescapable, you will not have to live with forever.

Thousands of years into eternity, as you’re living in a perfect world that has been made new in every way, you’ll look back on what now seems unbearable and inescapable as a brief flash of difficulty. There will be a day when you will look back at today, and it will look like a little thing.

As Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:16–17, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” (ESV)

In this current darkness of confusion, fear, isolation, sickness, and death, the gospel shines even more brightly. We will only ever really understand the frustrating and painful trials of this moment when we look at them through the lens of eternity.

Eternity tells you that you aren’t cursed with less but guaranteed gloriously more than you could imagine. No matter what the next day brings, your future is bright, because a victory has been won for you.

It is impossible to characterize how deep and expansive our delight in him will be. It is hard to find words that do justice to how completely satisfied we will be. Our hearts will finally have what they have always searched for, and our celebration will never end.

so much grief
so many sad songs
too much mourning,
love ones lost
gone too soon.
Empty rooms
tell a tale
of journeys ended.
Precious memories
dissolve into tears.
empty shells
fill darkened closets.
once treasured
left behind unused
gathering grief’s dust.
private places
once secure
once called home
museums to what once was.
Pictures stand as evidence
of a robbery
of the heart.
voices silenced,
conversations echo down
abandoned hallways.
memories interrupt
emotions flow
grief assaults.
disease is a thief
war is a thief
violence is a thief
accidents steal from us.
pieces of life
pieces of family
pieces of history
pieces of our hearts.
hopes and dreams
plans undone
love’s history left.
special voice
twinkling eyes
loving touch
endearing flaws
no more.
is not the story’s end.
You were taken
violence at night
stolen away
separated from loved ones
despised and rejected
hanged in public shame.
In your taking
grief will be taken
pain will be taken
mourning will be taken
sadness will be taken
loss will be taken
death will be taken.
Victory will live forever
and with it
everlasting love
everlasting peace
everlasting joy
everlasting life,
never again to be

God bless,

Paul Tripp

Reflection Questions

1. Are you in a moment of significant suffering right now? If not, what low-grade irritation are you experiencing due to the brokenness of the world?

2. Are you allowing this suffering or irritation to dominate your time and emotional energy? How is this impacting your daily life?

3. Look back on a previous moment of suffering in your life that at the time seemed huge and now looks like a little thing. How can you apply that to your present experience?

4. How does the promise of eternity provide you with comfort for what you are facing right now? How can those comforts change the way you live?

5. Who do you know who is suffering more than you, or in a different way? How can you specifically encourage them with the truths of eternity and practically incarnate the love of Christ?


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How To Never Lose Hope

New Hope Presbyterian Church Bridgeton, NJ

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