6 Ways to Find Hope in Heartache

What do you do when your world falls apart? When you get laid off? When a loved one walks out the door? When the latest world news scares you?

Jeremiah, an Old Testament prophet, had similar questions. During a time when Israel faced economic crisis, captivity, and starvation, Jeremiah wrote Lamentations, a book mourning God’s judgment on his people and the destruction of Jerusalem. But in the middle of his heartache, when his world seemed to be falling apart, Jeremiah remembered to do six things to help rebuild his life—and you can do them too.

1. Unload all your frustrations on God. Jeremiah was honest with God and said things like, “I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of the LORD’s wrath. He has driven me away and made me walk in darkness rather than light” (Lamentations 3:1-2 NIV). God can handle your anger, frustration, and grief.

2. Turn your focus from your pain to God’s love. After focusing on his trouble, Jeremiah eventually turned his attention to what he knew to be true about God: “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail” (Lamentations 3:21-22 NIV).

3. Get alone with God, and wait. Waiting on God is a spiritual discipline. You literally sit quietly and wait for God to move—and he will! Jeremiah said, “When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear” (Lamentations 3:28-29 MSG).

4. Change what you can change. There are many things you can’t change. But you can look at your life and see where you need to grow or how you need to repent. Jeremiah said, “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD” (Lamentations 3:40 NIV).

5. Ask God to relieve your fears. That’s what Jeremiah did, and God answered: “You came near when I called you, and you said, ‘Do not fear’” (Lamentations 3:57 NIV). God wants you to live free of fear.

6. Expect Jesus to restore your life. Pray like Jeremiah: “Restore us, O LORD, and bring us back to you again! Give us back the joys we once had!” (Lamentations 5:21 NLT). When you let God bring you back to Jesus, he will restore your joy.

No matter how broken the world may seem, remember that you serve a caring, all-powerful God who loves you. As you follow Jeremiah’s example, you’ll find hope, purpose, and joy.

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