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Hope for the Disheartened

Stuart and Jill Briscoe

People need hope. Psychologists say hope not only affects our overall well-being and happiness but moves us to take positive action. People want to be able to look optimistically at their future.

But we all experience disappointments in life, and when things don’t go the way we expected or desired—tragically or in smaller ways—discouragement can become entrenched. Our faith can wane as discouragement grows.

In Hope for the Disheartened, Bible teachers Stuart and Jill Briscoe explain why our hope needs to be tied to trust in God and reliant on His strength and timing. Because He loves us, God is walking with us through the disappointments of earthly life. His promises are, as the Bible describes them, “an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”

In this series, learn how you can maintain or regain hope, and how you can be an encouragement to others.

Messages From This Series:

Paul described his work among the Thessalonians as "encouraging, comforting, and urging you to live lives worthy of God." But Paul and his colleagues also needed encouragement themselves. In fact, everyone could use encouragement!

So how do we encourage people who desperately need it, and how do we remain encouraged and hopeful in our own lives? Stuart, citing Scripture as always, shows us the way.

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-1:10

Haggai delivered a prophetic message to the despondent, dispirited, and distracted people, temporarily reviving their hopes. But discouragement set in less than a month after the returned exiles had been motivated and mobilized to embark on a Temple rebuilding project. Haggai was called again to deliver the "word of the Lord," this time with powerful words of encouragement.

God has projects for us, too, and by relying on His strength and the "power of his might," we can have inner assurance that He is with us as we move ahead.

Scripture: Haggai 2:1-2:9

By the time he was in his 20s, Joseph had suffered enough discouragement to last a lifetime. He was mistreated by his brothers, unjustly condemned by his employer, and forgotten by his friend.

But he didn’t abandon his principles or his faith in God. How he coped is enlightening for all who are discouraged.

Scripture: Genesis 40

Are you discouraged by unfulfilled hopes or a dream that seemingly has died? You are not alone. Disappointment can drag us down and sometimes leave us feeling hopeless.

Don’t give up. God knows exactly when and how to intervene. His timing is perfect. Citing the story of Esther in the Bible, Jill shows us that if God has a mission for you, he will equip you for it. It’s okay to be scared as you take the first steps to accomplish the goal, trusting that God is alongside you.

Scripture: Esther

When trials and suffering come, where do we turn? We ought to turn to God—the God of all comfort. Suffering in this life is inevitable. David knew that. He wrote some of his psalms about it. But he wrote with the knowledge that God’s love brings comfort, encouragement, freshness, and life to those who seek Him.

In this message, Jill points us to the many resources for encouragement that God has given us: His Holy Spirit, His word, and His people. God asks us to bring encouragement to those around us.

Scripture: Psalm 119:52

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