“Hope is the only thing stronger than fear” – Suzanne Collins
Overtime, in the course of my journey through life, I have come to understand that HOPE is actually and truly life’s best accomplice. It is the one magic that causes total fear meltdown and allows faith to take over.
A long time ago, I read a story of a woman who suffered traumatic brain injury as a result of an accident. As I read along, something the daughter said struck me. In her words:
“When faced with difficult times, some turn to faith to ease their pain, praying to God that their loved one would survive and return to her normal self. However, the one reaction which is universal and necessary in these difficult times is HOPE. This is the path I chose to take. Hope helped me believe that the doctors at UPenn could fix my mom, make her walk and talk again. Hope helped me believe that the woman who I visited in the hospital, in the wheel chair, with the helmet who was missing the piece of her skull would once again return to being my mom. Hope is one of the most important, if not the most important aid that a family can have when faced with trauma. Hope helped my family and my mother survive the most monumental road block in our lives”.
These words are so true and deeply inspiring. I remember distinctly, the period in my life when I was ill; I remember my elder sister’s battle with cancer; I remember other trials, the pains and agony my family went through, the constant pains and worries in my parents eyes as they feared the worst……our one thrusting force, our uniting bond was the spirit of Hope……hope that it would get better, hope in the promises of God, hope that tomorrow would come with great news that the worst was over and our lives were back on track. Hope was what kept our family going and today, we all are survivors…..living testimonies of this hope.
God is the hope that keeps us trusting. Hope is the light in the storms of darkness and frustrations. It is a prayer as well. It powers a man in dire and dreadful situations. Hope is related to patience, they go hand-in-hand and help us to find a way and carry on.
It illuminates the bleak future which stays hidden in piles of darkness and gloom. Hope is a very sweet thing that is essential in human life, paving the way in situations where there are many ups and downs. Like Joseph Addison said, “Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for”.
Hope keeps you cool and calm and always powers you to keep patient in the battle front. There are many hard and huge mountains in human life which always become a barrier in the way of success.
We sometimes get frustrated in the falling and rising process in life that we may just be tempted to stay down and not rise again because of the injuries we sustain. There is hope in such conditions which make us stand up and depend on God. With this confidence in God, we anticipate something new and good for the future.
In life, there are good and bad times. If a bad time comes to us, good times must come as well. (Ps 30:5).
Amidst the hatred, killing, violence and crisis the world faces today; the terrorist attacks, the mindless killings as though lives don’t matter; In the face of the fact that the future remains uncertain, the one thing that keeps everyone together is HOPE.
The one thing this hatred and evil has succeeded in doing is uniting individuals the world all over under the umbrella of HOPE as we condemn this dastardly acts. Great minds, writers, advocates and what have you have all come together in addition to people from all walks of life all over the world, to see that we survive and not give up or give in to evil.
Look critically at disasters and terrorism that have befallen the world today. So much has happened in such a short time….the attack on Orlando, the Dallas shootings, the 84 lives lost in the Nice terror attacks, the Brussels attack, Fort McMurray wildfire, coming closer home, the havoc wrecked by Fulani herdsmen in various communities in Nigeria….to mention but a few.
The one thing that has kept us all going, that has made us forge ahead, gather the pieces of our lives together and begin anew, is HOPE. Regardless of our differences, everyone is united in the bond of hope against the forces of evil. We prayed, we cried, we pleaded and all these we did with one driving force at the back of our minds – HOPE.
As Desmond Tutu did say, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness”.
This beautiful video clip was sent to me a long while back and each time I look at it, I am uplifted; I am inspired never to give up and to focus on the beauty of life. Despite the much evil that has befallen our world, we still have hope that tomorrow would be better. We know and believe that it is only for a while. The storm would pass and the sun would shine again.
The great heroes and legends that fought for independence, justice, peace, and unity for and in their countries……..the likes of Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr, Malcom X, and coming closer home, Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Tafawa Balewa, to mention but a few had one thing in common – the propelling force called HOPE.
Even if it was not realized in their time (as was the case of Martin Luther King Jr), these great people fought selflessly not for their own interest but for the good of all. Some like Mandela, were fortunate to see their hopes realized in their lifetime.
In the face of all odds, the candle of hope burned constantly. It may have been dim at some point but it never went out. It was constantly ignited and burned brightly because it was kept alive in the hearts of these brave and courageous ones.
My dearest, often times we are faced with challenges and the temptation not to go on is so strong that we almost yield to it but I want you to remember, hope laughs in the face of danger, trials and tribulations. Hope laughs in the face of sufferings and pains. You can be somebody. Refuse to be intimidated. Refuse to be trampled upon by the devil and his gimmicks. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”, Eleanor Roosevelt said.
You are great; You are beautiful; You are smart; You are handsome; You have got skills and potentials; You are better, stronger, braver much more than you think because you have the spirit of the living God in you. Who is the devil to mess with your destiny? Who are you, my friend to accept the blows of life without a fight?
Look at the wonderful and beautiful survivors of ills and sufferings in the face of diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, HIV/AIDS etc. Even if not cured, they still fight bravely, refusing to go down easily. Look at trauma victims, brave enough to open centers and homes to help people who have gone through psychological trauma as they once did.
They didn’t let their lives end because they were raped, abused, molested, had teenage pregnancy. They survived through it all; they held on firmly to the rope of hope and climbed out of the rut and today, they are a light and source of strength to the world. Martin Luther King Jr affirms that “everything that is done in the world today is done by hope”.
Hope is key if we are to survive this perilous journey of life. In the light of this, the meaning of the saying, “No man is an island”, is fully revealed. One great speech amidst many others that remains a classic of all time is the “I HAVE A DREAM” speech by Martin Luther King Jr.
Listening to this speech, does it not make you hopeful for a better tomorrow? If the candle of hope was going dim in your life, is it not again ignited and burning fiercely deep within you after listening to this 53-years old speech?
Are you not again determined to achieve your dream, make the most of your life now? Is it not glaring to you that giving up is not and never will be an option? Does this speech not further give boost to the quote, “Winners never quit”?
No matter the situation, no matter the circumstance, you can survive. No matter how deep into the rut you have fallen, saying the words “Yes, I can”, boldly and convincingly to yourself and with the drill of hope, you can bore a hole into the loads of crap and keeping drilling upwards. Soon enough, you would see the ray of sunlight penetrating the rut and reaching you and then you are out.
At some point in Martin Luther’s speech, he said “We can’t walk alone” and that is very true. We need each other to survive.
We can’t walk the road of life alone. Even God Himself is aware of this hence He accompanies us every step of the way. He sends Angels to us in the form of friends, family or even strangers to help us like he did to Tobias, the son of Tobit whom He sent Angel Raphael to accompany on his journey (Tobit 1-14) – a wonderful story, I must say.
If in response to life’s blows, we retreat into ourselves, sulking and refusing to fight and mingle with people, we might just miss the help God has sent to assist us.
Luciano de Crescenzo said, “We are, each of us angels with only one wing; and we can only fly by embracing one another”. My dear friend, let me be an angel to you now in that very situation that looks grey and bleak. We need each other to rise above the drowning waters of grief and sorrow.
Let me be your pillar of strength and a shoulder for you to lean on. You are never alone in your struggles. God is right there with you and His grace sustains you so that at the end of it all, you in turn would be an inspiration to others and someone will one day say to you, “Because of you, I didn’t give up”. Let us be the angels God needs to better the world.
Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan wrote in his book, “THE ROAD OF HOPE”, “God uses trials and sufferings to teach us to better understand and be more patient with the sufferings of others”. And this is very true and this has made me realize that,
Sometimes, bad things happen to us so we can achieve a higher purpose attain greater happiness and fulfillment in life by helping others. khuanas_corner
Like I said in one of my posts, we do not live for ourselves alone but for each other. No matter what your challenge is, be strong! Do not cower or cringe in fear. St Paul tells us in his letter to the Corinthians:
“Therefore we are not discouraged. On the contrary, while our outer being wastes away, the inner self is renewed from day to day. The slight affliction that quickly passes away prepares us for an external wealth of glory so great and beyond all comparison. So we no longer pay attention to the things that are seen but to those that are unseen, for the things that we see last for a moment, but that which cannot be seen is eternal”.
Now, this is hope! Our physical bodies may go through sufferings and pains untold, we may have to endure agony that seems like it will never end, we may have to bear rigorous discomforts so much so that death seems like a better option but my dearest, I plead with you not to give up.
The painful reality is till the new Jerusalem comes, a world St John describes to us in Rev 21: 9-27, a world where there will be neither day nor night as the glory of God is its light and the Lamb its lamp; a world where there will be no more sorrow, pain, sickness or death, this present world which fell from grace due to the sin of man in the garden of Eden, will always have ills and sufferings because the kingdom of God is not of this world as Jesus told us in John 18: 36.
God knows this and that is why He sent His son to come die for us and reconcile us back to Him thus making us His children and giving us the pass needed to live with Him for all eternity in the blessedness of heaven.
There is a reason for the pains we go through; a reason for our struggles. However, if we remain faithful and steadfast in God till the end, there is a reward for us as St Paul tells us in his letter to Titus, “The Holy Spirit poured over us through Christ Jesus our Savior, so that having been justified of His grace we should become heirs in hope of eternal life” (Titus 3: 6-7).
God is aware of everything and anything that happens to us. Not a moment of our lives passes without God’s awareness. Remember He holds our lives in His hands…. every second in our lives is known to God – out thoughts, actions, words, deeds. He knows everything, so why do we think He is oblivious to our pain and sufferings?
Not even a sparrow falls to the ground without the permission of the Father. Whatever injustice we suffer now, whatever sufferings we have to endure, let us always know that they serve in God’s plan for our good.
Let us be hopeful in a God who loves us and wants nothing more than for us to live a wonderful life here on earth amidst pains and sufferings after which we transcend this world to spend eternity with Him.
It doesn’t matter how difficult the journey is now, the grace of God is sufficient for us and most importantly, have it at the back of your mind that it will all end in praise. In a post I read a while back online a while back, the writer who was called Charlie said,
“It is hope that brings peace to a horrific situation. It is hope that allows for man who is within days of death to say “God transformed me on the inside and all glory goes to Him”. It is hope that helps me understand that while I may not like God’s plan, my faith in Him is not shaken. If we are struggling with God’s plan, hang on to your faith. Your questions will be answered one day, the picture will be filled in, things will come into focus, you will understand and when you do, I have a feeling it will make a lot more sense to you”.
So true are his words. We may not understand it. Life may seem unfair to us but trust me, God sure knows what He is doing. St Paul encourages us still in his letter to the Hebrews wherein he said, “Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering for He who has promised is faithful” (Heb 10:23).
It is in our weakest that He is strongest. When we feel we have reached rock bottom; when we feel like we are at our thinnest, it is at such moments that the wonders of God are manifested. It is through suffering we appreciate the graces, mercies and wonders of God.
Sometimes we feel so tired of the turmoil of life; like the boat we are sailing on is sinking. We just want to disappear. We are that tired but that is the time to strive to keep hope alive. Difficult it may seem but you can do it. We can do it. Turmoils are phases in life we go through.Even Jesus Himself felt it in the garden of Gethsemane and cried to His Father for help.
Life isn’t all rosy. In fact it is the turmoil that makes it interesting. As Martin Luther King Jr rightly said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” It takes challenges for you to really know your strengths and who you really are.
The existence of God is the beauty of life itself. Yes we go through terrible times and we feel He is just bidding His time but while God sometimes gives the devil avenues to fool himself, He can never be defeated because His plans for us is to save us and not to harm us. Plans to give us a future and to give us hope. (Jer 29:11).
If we despair, if we lose hope, we are indirectly telling Jesus that His sacrifice for us on the cross is a waste. We are telling Him that, that situation, that agony which we face is bigger than Him and His unfathomable mercies. We are telling Him that, that challenge is way more than the depth of His love for us.
This isn’t right; this isn’t fair. The devil was once an angel in heaven like any other angel but when he turned and rebelled against God, he was thrown out of heaven. Now, his plan is to take away as much of God’s children as possible through hopelessness.
He causes commotion and unrest in our lives and tries to get us to lose faith and hope in God. This is despair and is a great sin against the Holy Spirit and sin against the Holy Spirit is unforgiveable. When faced with challenges, we sometimes let it overwhelm us that we begin to seek help elsewhere.
We say, “God is too slow”, “He is not answering me”. We become impatient and desperate forgetting that desperate trees don’t bear fruits. At the end of the day, no matter how long it takes, after the temporary solution has failed (and it is because nothing not of God is permanent) and created more problems, we return like puppies with our tails between our legs to the very same God we abandoned and called “slow”.
Believe in yourself and in your abilities. As Samuel Johnson said, “The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure but from hope to hope”.
Check out this amazing story from http://storyoffaith.blogspot.com.ng/
Be Deaf to Negativity
Once upon a time there was a bunch of tiny frogs…. who arranged a running competition.
The goal was to reach the top of a very high tower. A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants…. The race began….
Honestly, No one in the crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower.
You heard statements such as: “Oh, WAY too difficult!!” “They will NEVER make it to the top.” or: “Not a chance that they will succeed. The tower is too high!”
The tiny frogs began collapsing. One by one. Except for those, who in a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher…. The crowd continued to yell, “It is too difficult!!! No one will make it!” More tiny frogs got tired and gave up….
But ONE continued higher and higher and higher…. This one wouldn’t give up! At the end everyone else had given up climbing the tower. Except for the one tiny frog who, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top! THEN all of the other tiny frogs naturally wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it? A contestant asked the tiny frog how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal. It turned out…. That the winner was DEAF!!!!
Moral: Never listen to other people’s tendencies to be negative or pessimistic…. because they take your most wonderful dreams and wishes away from you — the ones you have in your heart! Always think of the power words have. Because everything you hear and read will affect your actions!
Therefore, ALWAYS be…. POSITIVE! And above all be DEAF when people tell YOU that you cannot fulfill your dreams! Always think, God and I can do this!!!
Remember President Barack Obama’s Victory speech in 2008? That is one speech filled with so much hope.
We do not waiver, we do not falter no matter how hot the seat gets. We acknowledge He is God and at the end of the day, His name will be glorified. Why make deals with the devil who offers to give you shoes but takes your legs in return? Why go after a temporary solution when we can get a permanent and lasting solution in Christ Jesus? His word is Yes and Amen.
There are so many wonderful promises of God to see us through this difficult journey through life. There is a promise of God for every situation. Let us only TRUST GOD and believe in Him. Have faith in Him.
So, my dearest one, please don’t lose hope. You never know what tomorrow may bring. You can fail, fall, cry or even die, but NEVER GIVE UP. Sometimes, hope is all we need when we have nothing else. It is the last candle standing and if we have hope, we have everything.
In what ways have hope greatly transformed your life? I would like to read your comments and stories. Kindly share your experiences in the comment box below. Let your story inspire the world.