*Trigger warning: While the article is mainly about hope, there are mentions of statistics about suicide as part of the background. Please take note of this before reading.

If you take one look at the world around us, you won’t be able to deny that there is an epidemic of hopelessness. Recent data from the World Health Organization reveal that one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds. Let that sink in. As you’re reading this article, someone has decided to end their life somewhere in the world.

Even if we are seen as one of the happiest people in the world, the Philippines had a total of 3,413 suicide cases this year.

Christians are not exempted from this. Recently, a pastor, who was an advocate for mental health and well-being, decided to end his life.

These kinds of news and statistics can really sap any remaining hope in us. It seems that the world is growing darker by the day, and many people are left questioning:

Is there still a reason to hope?

Does faith work?

Where is God in the midst of all these?

Does He really exist?

This reminds me of the Prophet Jeremiah. In despair, he wrote the book of Lamentations as a “eulogy” for Jerusalem. Sorrow and suffering were a harsh reality in his time. All around him, he saw nothing but death, corruption, and moral decay.

“The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words,” Jeremiah cried out. “I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.” (Lamentations 3:19,20, NLT)

Can you relate? Have you experienced suffering that is bitter beyond words? Do you grieve the loss of a loved one? Do pressures and challenges eat at you? Do you feel homeless even in your own home?

How do we live out our faith in these difficult times? We can learn about this from Jeremiah’s lamentation.

1. Dare to hope. Things around us might seem depressing, but keep your hope anchored on God. In the middle of his lament, Jeremiah declared, “Yet I still dare to hope” (Lamentations 3:21, NLT). Because he knew the character of God, he anchored his hope on this truth:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;

his mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,

“therefore I will hope in him.”

(Lamentations 3:22–24)

Evil and suffering do not nullify God’s existence and goodness. They only magnify our need for God. In the midst of trials, the steadfast love of God never ceases. The silence of God in our situations does not mean the absence of God in our lives. He works even in the silence, even when we don’t notice.

I don’t know your struggles, and I don’t know how long you’ve been fighting. Maybe recent events in the Christian world have somehow shaken your faith.

My prayer is that you will still dare to hope, fight the good fight, and strive to finish well. I don’t know how serious your suffering is, and I have no idea how painful it is to be in your situation; only the heart understands its own sadness. But rest on these truths:

God is still God.

The gospel still has power to save.

Jesus is still the way, the truth, and the life.

In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

John 1:4,5

In a showdown between light and darkness, light always wins. Our hope is sure that even the deepest darkness can never overpower the light of Jesus. He is, after all, the Light of the World. There is no other source of light besides Jesus.

Moreover, we can dare to hope because God has given us His eternal Word. See, no words of man, no human skepticism, and no tragedy will ever negate God’s eternal Word.

. . . for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass.

The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.”

And this word is the good news that was preached to you.

1 Peter 1:24,25

I encourage you to read His Word, find out His promises and plans for you, and anchor your hope in these promises for He is faithful.

2. Spread hope. The world needs God more than ever. Don’t get me wrong. There’s not a point in history where humans needed God less. But in the midst of everything that’s happening, the need to proclaim God and His saving power has gotten much more urgent.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,

so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Romans 15:13

As God fills us with His hope, joy, and peace, we will abound in hope. We can spread to the world the hope that we have through our actions and our words. As we abound in hope, people can experience God’s hope, joy, light, and peace. We can lead them to the God of hope so that they too might experience His kingdom here on earth.

Let me leave you with this encouragement:

So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! 

Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. 

Then you will receive all that he has promised.

Hebrews 10:35,36 (NLT)

If you need to talk to someone about what you are facing today, please do not hesitate to message us via Facebook at Every Nation Campus Philippines. We hope that we can help you find peace and joy in God.