Five Minute Friday scribblings, Hope, Perspective

Hope: In the Hard Times

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+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—FIVE. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

When Kate gave us our prompt for tonight, I about choked. Number posts are hard. Then, God  brought to mind a verse that has flittered on the edges of my thoughts for a couple weeks now. This verse is Romans 5:5.

And, here we go:

FIVE

There’s been a whole lot of hard going on in life. I feel stretched by the days, by the boys’ schedules, by stresses going on in hubby’s work. I feel worn down at times by the struggles friends are facing.

By the challenges that come at us through others’ choices.

I mentioned in my Tuesday post that a boy in our community chose suicide over life, and my heart grieves for his family. I can’t help but think of his mama, of the final words spoken, the fears she may have had as she watched her son.

Life is hard.

It’s so easy to place our hope in things, in circumstances, in people. And these may help us . . . for awhile.

But sooner or later, we’ll be disappointed, because all of these are less than perfection. They’re less than God.

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When we place our hope in God, then we will not be disappointed. This doesn’t mean our circumstances will change. Chances are good they may not.

But when we place our hope in God, our perspective changes. When we trust Him to walk with us through the hard—when we invite him into the struggle—we can walk with a rest in our spirits. Sometimes with peace.

God’s love has been poured out in our hearts. It is overflowing into our beings. He loves every part of who we are with every part of who He is. Knowing we are loved can shift our perspectives in amazing ways.

Knowing we don’t have to perform in a certain way in a trial? That gives peace and freedom to walk through it. To grapple with the hard, and to come out victorious.

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When we embrace the truth that God loves us, that His love is all we need? That’s when the overwhelming parts of life can be conquered. Circumstances may appear to win in the short term. But in the picture of eternity? We’ve already overcome.

What about you? When you’ve been overwhelmed, what has helped you overcome? How do you find hope in the hard times?

Click to Tweet: When we place our hope in God, our perspective changes.

I’m linking up with Kate at Five Minute Friday—Five

By the way, Susan Shipe has coordinated a great book with a number of Five Minute Friday posts in it. It releases Monday! If you choose to purchase one, all the funds go to support two ministries in South Africa: The Vine School in Cape Town, and The Ten Dollar Tribe. Please consider helping these ministries and being blessed by the words of many wonderful writers!

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21 thoughts on “Hope: In the Hard Times”

  1. That is awesome how God brought that verse to your mind! Rough weeks are so hard. I know lately things have been rough but through constantly and I mean constantly drawing near to Him in His word, I have been having peace like no other. He is so lovingly in control. I really hope things get better.

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    1. Hey, Kristina. Isn’t God good? I was trying to figure out WHAT I was going to write on. And I completely agree with you. It’s when we draw near to God in the rough times that we have peace like no other. Though I sometimes chafe at the truth that He’s in control, I truly am grateful. I can’t imagine how many mess-ups I’d have if I were in control! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Great post, Jeanne. I’m sorry for the rough week, and especially about the kid who killed himself. That leaves a community-wide wound and scar.

    I’m not sure what has helped me overcome – and I am failing now – except perhaps the understanding that I have no real understanding of how what I do fits into God’s Big Picture. I’m only expected to do my best; the ‘why’ isn’t vouchsafed me.

    #1 at FMF this week.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2016/09/your-dying-spouse-210-five-horrible.html

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    1. If I may, I think part of what has helped you overcome is your mindset. Your determination to hold onto hope and life, rather than giving up and giving in. I know that sometimes (maybe often?) it’s hard to see how what we do fits into God’s big picture. The thing is, He doesn’t often give us that view. He shows/prompts/encourages us in doing something, and when we do that, He works, He moves. Sometimes, we don’t understand the reasons, but when we obey Him, we honor Him and point others to Him.

      Your encouraging words have done more deep soul-cleansing work than you know, my friend. If your ministry is one of words, it’s one of the most powerful ways of being used. Trust me on this. You may not see the big picture, and that’s okay. Can you trust that He’s using you even when you don’t understand?

      I’m praying for you . . . often!

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  3. Jeanne– Thank you so much for this reminder! I certainly need it with the struggle I’ve been under lately. It’s so easy to get caught up in the struggle of life and not see God in everything. I absolutely need that change in perspective every day!

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    1. Mollie, we all need the reminder of hope sometimes (or many times!). I’m sorry you’ve been enduring so much. You really are an inspiration. I hope God continues to renew your mind and your perspective each day! Thank you so much for stopping by!

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  4. Jeanne, you’re a HOPE girl too, aren’t you??? Kindreds. I am using today’s posts to double check things in the book and I found a typo with your name in the index. Takenada instead of Takenaka – your actual post is correct. I plan to resubmit interior pages in a month or so IF you wish to wait – if you don’t mind the slight faux pas, then go ahead. This book-making is stressful business. LOVED your comments on Andrew’s post today.

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    1. Yes, Susan, I’m a hope girl. 🙂 It’s nice to be in such good company. 🙂

      No worries about fixing the typo in this version of the book. I put my order in today. 🙂 Thanks again and again for coordinating it! It IS a lot of work!

      Have a great weekend, friend!

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  5. “He loves every part of who we are with every part of who He is. Knowing we are loved can shift our perspectives in amazing ways.” Oooph. What a “simple” concept but such a difficult thing to grasp – REALLY grasp – on a daily basis. At least for me. Thank you for the lovely reminder! Visiting from FMF#23.

    Peace.
    Patricia

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  6. It is so true, Jeanne, that our perspective changes when we place our Hope in Him and the eternal which helps us endure all the trial that may not change. Thanks for that reminder this morning! He teaches us how to navigate this world. Beautiful pictures too.

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    1. PLEASE forgive my late response. The weekend got away from me! I’m so thankful that God helps us navigate our world. I can’t imagine trying to go through the hard times without His hand guiding me.

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  7. I am so thankful that our hope in the Lord does change our perspective. I dare say that I would not have made it through some of life’s challenges with it out. Thank you for your post. What a sweet reminder of the hope we have in Him. Visiting from the FMF link-up.

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  8. “Knowing we are loved.”

    That’s where I’m resting today. I am loved. He has not left me. One day, when all the pain is past and the last tear is dried, I will be able to look back and see the whole picture. Not only that, but He will be there to explain the masterpiece before me, showing me how He used to interplay of light and shadow to create something astonishing. Something He alone could make. Beauty from ashes, joy from mourning.

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    1. The older I get, the more I’m understanding the power of God’s love for me, for us. Won’t it be amazing to hear God explain His masterpiece created in our lives? Seeing the beauty from ashes and the joy from mourning can be such a gift.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts here, friend!

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  9. what a wonderful promise! GOD is sufficient to our need, no matter how great. Just as you know of someone who recently committed suicide, I have learned of some who living in difficult circumstances over a long period of time apart from GOD’s intervention. so many around us are living in their times of hard. sometimes we are. some days we want to say, “How long?” to GOD don’t we? There will come a day when He will make all things right…thankfully.

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    1. Yes, Martha, God is definitely sufficient to meet each of our needs. I’m so thankful He always sees us, even (especially?) in our times of hard. And yes, the promise that He will make all things right is reassuring.

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