Scripture Promises Can Stimulate Hope

You know, the Bible doesn’t promise us a life free from trouble. On the contrary, Scripture says we will go through trials. And then it says, when (not if) we face trials, Jesus will accompany us as we go through them.footprints in sand

I’ve learned something about trials: just because you went through horrendous things in the past doesn’t excuse you from future trials. Rats!

I’ve also learned that God doesn’t put us through testing just to torment us – unlike someone else who shall remain anonymous. No, God’s tests and trials are designed to set us free.



Let’s take a look at the Old Testament and one of the best-known fiery trials. Daniel and his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were captives of Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon. You may know them better as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

In those times, when kings conquered neighboring people groups they killed the fighting men and took certain youths captive—those who were deemed smart, attractive, strong, and educated. They were given new names and re-educated. Their culture and religion was destroyed as they assimilated into their new society.

faithThese guys weren’t about to let that happen. They believed in the God of the I AM. That belief couldn’t be shaken, even when they faced the flames. Their words to King Nebuchadnezzar are brave and full of faith: Our God will save us from the flames, but even if He doesn’t, we will not bow to your idol. (Daniel 3:16-18) They didn’t know for sure what would happen, but they placed themselves in God’s hands.

Every Sunday School child knows the story: the king saw four men where he had ordered three into the furnace, and the fourth was like the Son of God. (Daniel 3:25) Jesus had accompanied them, as promised.

What people don’t remember is that the three young men were bound with ropes when they were thrown in. Those ropes burned off in the fire. They were not hurt, and came out “smelling like a rose”! (All right, it really says their clothes didn’t even smell of smoke.)

That’s what is supposed to happen in our trials. We go in bound, and we come out with increased freedom.

It can be hard to not fight against the trial and against the God who allows it. We don’t want more pain. We’ve been through enough!

But if we don’t submit to Jesus, He can’t release us. Our bonds remain because of our own lack of action. And those bonds preclude the development of hope.hands are tied

Jeremiah 29:11 is an often-quoted promise: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV). That verse offers a lot of hope! But have you ever gone further, to verse 14? There the Lord promises to release us from our captivity.

You may not be a physical captive like the three Hebrew youths, but captivity of any kind can be broken by Jesus. We have to submit to the process, however.

Can you count it all joy when you go through various trials? (James 1:2-4) It can be hard to go through them, but going through is a requirement for freedom.

And then hope can grow even more.

this is part 6 of a series on abuse recovery

Part 1| Am I Alone in my Pain?

Part 2| Do You Have Hope?

Part 3| Putting Your Hope in God is Safe

Part 4| How Do We Lose Our Hope?

Part 5| Growing up Without Hope

all illustrations courtesy of