A few years ago, there was a Saturday Night Live sketch that was one of my personal favorites. It was about a woman called Debbie Downer (or it could have been Negative Ned). If you’re familiar with the name, then you’re probably familiar with what the skit was about even if you haven’t seen it. It’s about

a person that always presents the downside of life in almost every circumstance. Have you ever met someone that seems to live life with a lack of hope or expectation? Someone that always feels that they’ll never break the cycles and patterns of life that they are currently in? That person may be a friend or family member or just an acquaintance, but, as an optimist, let me tell you that sounds like a terrible way to live!

As Christians, did you know that you have a greater hope than you could ever dream of? That hope is Christ dwelling in us (Ephesians 3:17-19)! Jesus’ power is working in you, despite your circumstances. However, as believers, we aren’t immune from bouts of hopelessness. Many of the conversations I have with people come from places of hopelessness and struggle.

It often comes from a belief that we will never be in a place that we want to be, and that we have no hope of getting there. We’ll never be the spouse, parent, friend—you name it—that we think we should be. The good news is that Christ can do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.”

Take a minute to ask yourself this question: What do you feel as though will never change in your walk with Jesus? Now imagine what it would look like if it changed to how it could be. What do you feel as though will never change in your relationships? Job? Health? What are the hopeless things that you need Jesus to bring hope to? Imagine what it would look like if they changed to how they should be. Sometimes during our circumstances, we start to wonder: Is God able? Is God still on the throne? Does God see me and care about what I’m going through? Does He have the power to change anything? Read Ephesians 3:20-21 again. Don’t lose hope! Our God is able. We dare to hope beyond our wildest dreams because He is able!

Seth Redden
Pastor of High School Ministry

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