Renewed Hope

by Sep 8, 2021

Our Hope Renewed

Isaiah 43:18-21 (NIV)

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
The wild animals honour me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.”

To summarise the context of this passage – the Israelites would be oppressed again, as they had been as slaves before the exodus from Egypt. They would cry out to God and again He would hear and deliver them. A new exodus would take place through a new wilderness. The past miracles were nothing compared to what God would do for His people.

What we have been through these past months may feel like we have been in a wilderness, but God is making a way for us and streams of refreshing are to come. For us to “see” the new thing He is doing and to perceive it within our spirits I believe that we need to refresh our hearts, minds, and spirits so that we can leave the former things behind and not dwell (pitch our tents) in the past. The miracles to come are nothing compared to what God has done before. This is the hope for things unseen!

Before we speak about a renewed hope let us look at:

LOSS AND GRIEF of life as we knew it.

The term being used in the therapy circles is “End of Life as we know it”
Over this past season, more than at any other time things have changed for every person on this earth, there has been the loss of life which brings about grieving and mourning. There has been a loss of health, jobs, income, social interactions …. the list is endless. Life as people once knew it has changed – plans, goals, normalcy, stability, security has ended or changed leaving one with some sort of loss.

Working with loss and grief over this last while I hear how so many are overwhelmed, numb, hopeless, exhausted, and sadly, many feel guilty for feeling hopeless, for being tired, for being downcast, and dare I say it especially Christians. Somehow because we are Christians, we carry the added burden that we should always be positive, always hopeful, always joyful, and while I think it would be great to always be this way we have to realise that life happens, and we may find ourselves going through seasons when we are not filled with abounding joy and/or steadfast hope. The reason for this is that we find ourselves in a place where “the life we once knew has ended.” The same way that we grieve the loss of a loved one is how we grieve the loss of “something” lost in our life – life as we knew it came to an end.

We live on this continuum where at one end we dwell in the grief, maybe not knowing how to get ourselves out of it because we do not recognise the signs as being grief. Then at the other end of the continuum we try to move forward listening to the well intentioned advice of others saying forget the past and “move on” or “get over it” or “things will get better” which may seem to them to be caring words, but they are not immensely helpful. Grief that has been held back, restrained, or prevented, either by you or others can result in what they call inhibited grief and repressed emotions which eventually starts to manifest in our bodies. Signs of inhibited grief and repressed emotions are forgetfulness, headaches that do not go away, insomnia, sore muscles, panic attacks, depression, to mention a few.

Insightful Wisdom

I would like to take the time to show how God’s Word not only teaches us about a hope that is deferred – what the world defines as “end of life as we know it.” Follow with me as I reveal what God’s word says on this matter so that we may learn how to stay in the middle of the continuum understanding and managing our wellbeing during this time.

Proverbs 13:12 speaks of Hope deferred makes the heart sick, a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

This is a verse that I have held onto, prayed into, and meditated on for many years and only recently did I see with eyes of understanding something new! When reading and researching God’s word on this matter I started to “see” a thread within several verses. What I started to see was our hopelessness makes our hearts sick which in turn crushes the spirit and dries the bones (depths of despair – depression, physical sickness, insomnia, forgetfulness, foggy brain).

Proverbs 15:13 “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache (a heart full of sadness) crushes the spirit.
Proverbs 15:4 “The soothing tongue (speaking words that build up and encourage) is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue (speaking words that overwhelm and depress) crushes the spirit.”
Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 18:14 “The human spirit can endure sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?

How I am understanding this is that dry bones (physical sickness that comes with depression and despair) may be the result of a crushed spirit and a crushed spirit is the result of prolonged/ delayed / inhibited heartache (sadness, grief, hopelessness), and add to this the negative words spoken into our lives and over our circumstances which exacerbates the crushing of the spirit (depletion/quenching of the spirit).

In Ezekiel 37 we read how God brought the valley of dry bones to life and He breathed life into them.
“Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel. They are saying, ‘We have become old, dry bones—all hope is gone. Our nation is finished.’
Ezekiel 37:11 NLT

The dry bones represented hopelessness within the people of Israel!

It may now be understandable why we may feel the way we do. The word of God warns us that there will be seasons of dry bones, crushed spirits and broken and grieving hearts, but God’s word also gives us the answer to overcome this season – hope has not gone forever!


Proverbs 23:18 There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”

Then I saw the word “deferred” – hope deferred – and realised that it does not say a hope lost forever, a hope gone for good but a hope deferred means it has been suspended for the moment, it has been delayed until another time…but it is not gone! Hope will return!

Jeremiah 29:11-14 tells us that Father God knows the plans He has for us. They are plans to prosper us, not to harm us, they are plans to give us hope and a future. However, He does call us to SEEK Him with ALL our hearts and He will be found by us and He will rescue us from the captivity (the crushing, the dry places, and the grieving heartache) we find ourselves in.

We may go through seasons where hope has been deferred and think hope has gone forever because we may have lost sight of the One WHO is our hope. Be encouraged to seek God and ask Him to show you what the longing is that the deferred hope has exposed.

Proverbs 13:12 speaks of “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

In Psalm 16 David writes “I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.”

Seeking for answers within the counsel of God’s word.

Proverbs 3:18 “She (wisdom) is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.”
Proverbs 15:13 “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache (a heart full of sadness) crushes the spirit. “
Proverbs 15:4 “The soothing tongue (speaking words that build up and encourage) is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue (speaking words that overwhelm and depress) crushes the spirit.”
Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
Proverbs 18:14 “The human spirit can endure sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?”
Proverbs 12:18 “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 14:30 “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”
Proverbs 15:30 “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.”
Proverbs 16:24 “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Wisdom is the tree of life; healing words are the tree of life – may we seek God’s wisdom and may we speak life and encouraging words over our situations! If you leave that longing unfulfilled or if you seek other things to fulfil it then you may find yourself more broken hearted, crushed in spirit to the point of being sick in the body.

Some Practical Steps

In prayer with the Holy Spirit, God’s Counsellor, seek heavenly counsel for what works for you. What are the above scriptures saying to you? Below is a simple process to help guide you through this time in your life, however please find what works for you.

  • Seek the Lord, to discover and understand what it is about this loss that makes you feel this way. This opens up /exposes the deep longing within you that needs to be fulfilled.
  • Acknowledge and understand these emotions / this deep longing so that over time you may come to terms with what has been lost – the loss of a person, a job, income, friendship, your values, your moral compass etc.…. asking yourself this question:
    • “What would I want to feel instead?” – seek God’s word for the tree of life that would encourage you.
  • Adjust to what has changed for you and adapt to the new person you are becoming within the environment that the loss has created – how do you do life with the grief and the loss?
  • Find meaning in what you have lost.
    • If it is a person, think about how you go forward in a way that is honouring to their memory.
    • If it is something important to you, think about how you find meaning and connection with the loss as you move forward.

In Conclusion:

My prayer for all who are feeling hopeless to the point of feeling like they are in a dry place even to the point of being “downcast”, is for hope to fill your hearts. May Father God breathe life into you so that your hearts may be healed, your spirits refreshed, and may the joy of God’s salvation be restored within you. God bless you all xxx

Isaiah 40: 31 “Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles: they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.”

Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”