We recently watched a movie we don’t necessarily recommend, but there was one quote that jumped out at us and was worth remembering:
“Beginnings are scary. Endings are usually sad, but it’s what’s in the middle that counts. So when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will.” Birdie Pruitt, Hope Floats
We are all in the middle of our marriages – somewhere between the “I Do’s,” and the “Death do us part.” We may have made it through the scary adjustment stages of leaving and cleaving, but now we’re faced with the reality of one fact–our spouse isn’t perfect! And neither are we!
One commentary says of 1 Corinthians 13:7 the following:
“A sincere love chooses to believe what is good of another, even when others have ceased to hope.”
This begs the question, does our love continue for our spouse even when others believe there is no hope for change? What about when you are being tempted to believe there is no hope? The Bible clearly tells us when we do this we are not loving! It is love to keep hope alive, even when there is no evidence. Is this denying reality and merely wishful thinking? Only if your hope is in your ability to change your spouse. We don’t possess this ability–never have–never will. Then where does our help (and hope) come from? It comes from God:
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God!” Psalm 42:5
We all have areas where change hasn’t happened or any progress we have made is too small to notice. Yet God has promised to complete the work He’s begun in us. This applies to our spouse as well! Don’t give up hope! As long as we are living and breathing there is always hope for change. Hope can float if we aren’t trying to control and choose to trust instead.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines Hope:
- A desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable. Hope differs from wish and desire in this, that it implies some expectation of obtaining the good desired, or the possibility of possessing it. Hope therefore always gives pleasure or joy; whereas wish and desire may produce or be accompanied with pain and anxiety.
- Confidence in a future event; the highest degree of well founded expectation of good; as a hope founded on God’s gracious promises; a scriptural sense.
The Bible says, “you have not because you ask not!” Begin to ask God to bring the changes you desire – ask Him daily as long as it takes.
“Hope always pertains to a future event. It goes beyond thinking the best of someone to expecting improvement as time goes by. When we say we hope all things, we are saying we believe others are changing for the better.” (Pastor Mitch Horton)
And it’s most important that we communicate this hope to our spouse! They need the encouragement from the one who knows them best. It’s not easy hoping all things when our reality says otherwise. It can be downright scary. This is why we need faith in God to help us love our spouse the way He has loved us. He alone can cause hope to “float up” no matter how deep our struggle.
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Hope when others believe there is no hope. I did this for 15 years and I have finally seen fruit. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the end seems near, God steps in and brings fresh change. For anyone who is heartsick, I pray that you stand firm, bow your head, and wait. God bless you Debbie and thanks for doing this blog.
It’s been 8 years for me so far and it seems like things will never change.. Letting go of my hearts greatest desires is the most painful, empty, ‘heartsick’ feeling! Must I wait until Heaven? Where is my second chance? I can feel so distant from God sometimes.. but I know it’s my own fault.
Thanks for any prayers! ❤
Oh, I know how painful it can be when you’re called to wait. But your hope is not in hope itself. It’s in God, the only One who has the answers you seek. I urge you to draw near to Him. He alone can help you in such a place, but the enemy would love nothing more than to distance you from Him. It says in James, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Resist the devil and he will flee.” Take hold of this book in the Bible and read it daily. It has the words of life which I believe God will use to encourage and lift you up from the broken place.
Father, I ask for Your wisdom, comfort and help today for this dear friend who has humbled themselves to ask for prayer. You know their heart. You know their situation. I pray for encouragement that is tangible and lasting. In Jesus’ name we pray – Amen.
Blessings to you,
15 years – God must have held you up much of the time waiting for what you hoped for. In the process of waiting, God often changes us. Right after you posted this comment we received another comment that I believe your prayer is for. Thank you for taking the time to share with us your insights.
What you said is true. God changed me in ways I didn’t know needed changing. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t go back and do anything differently because it was in the fire that I became stronger and closer to my savior. There were many times I wanted to just give up, but then I would stand and shake my fist at satan and tell him NO!!!! You will not have my family!!! I prayed everyday for years that God would hold me and my husband, and I named each child, in the palm of His hand and hold us together. It has worked and we have 27 years together with more to come. To brokenhearted I would say this, Your battle is not against flesh and blood, but it is a spiritual battle and the enemy wants to destroy families anyway he can. Stand strong in the face of your enemy knowing the victory is already won. Jesus conquered all on the cross and you have but to stand firm and call on the angels of heaven to battle with you in Jesus name. Endurance comes through training and you must practice everyday. God Bless you and I pray victory in your situation in Jesus name. Come quickly Lord.