Finding Solid Hope

Yesterday evening I was meant to be playing in an orchestral concert that I had been working hard for and looking forward to for a very long time. On Saturday I’d had a day full of rehearsals and a concert for a different event, so by the time it came to Sunday I was already pretty worn out.

During rehearsals on Sunday, I started to get a headache and my eyes began to hurt. I just put it down to tiredness and being in artificial lighting for the majority of the weekend. But by the time I got home to grab some food before concert time, I was in agony; I had a full-blown migraine. What was meant to be an evening of fun turned out to be an evening wrapped up in bed in complete darkness, sobbing on the phone to my boyfriend.

I was devastated. Music means so much to me, and I didn’t take part in the concert that I had been most looking forward to for the whole year.

But I learned a very valuable truth: this world is fragile, it is always changing, and I was reminded of where I should daily be putting my joy - not in this world.

My boyfriend (Dan) reminded me that Jesus heals. He prayed over me, and thankfully the migraine only lasted for a few hours.

Once my migraine had passed, Dan gently told me that I had been quite negative recently. At first, I went into defense mode: how could he comprehend the stresses of university life?! He didn’t understand how much this concert meant to me! I am so tired and burnt out, I think I’m allowed to moan every once in a while.

And then it hit me: why am I complaining? Hasn’t Jesus given me the greatest gift I could have ever received? He has given me eternal life, and I know that this world is passing by and it’s not my true home, so why am I getting so caught up in it?

I realized that I had got myself into a rut. I had developed the mentality that every time I felt good about life and was on a ‘spiritual high’ with Jesus, sooner or later there would come a low point. And whilst this is true (life is full of ups and downs), this isn’t the way I should be looking at it. I shouldn’t undermine the amazing times in my life where I feel super close to God with the thought “don’t get too ahead of yourself, it won’t last forever”. Because the truth is, I am always close to God, even when it doesn’t feel like it.

He is Emmanuel, which means ‘God with us’. I know that in the very midst of the low points in my life, Jesus is there with me. But more than that, there will be another high. And there will come a day when that high never ends.

I learned a valuable lesson yesterday. I learned that the entire focus of my life should be Jesus, and that means when the rubbish parts of life rear their ugly head, I can still look to Jesus and know that none of the pain even matters because I have something better. It’s not downplaying the bad times - in fact, it’s important to acknowledge them and process them - but it’s about perspective. It’s about knowing that despite your pain, Jesus is not only with you, but He has promised something better.

So, my question for you is this:

If your hope is not in this world, why are you getting so down about it?

In other words, if Jesus truly is our King and the focus of our lives, shouldn’t we be grateful every single day, and look above the storms to Him?

I want to be a woman of God who, even when writhing in pain and unable to do something I love, still praises Jesus. Because no matter what happens in life, or what I miss out on, nothing compares to praising Him - and I will always be able to find a way to do just that since He lives inside of me. Praise can happen anywhere, anytime, anyplace - we just need to find the boldness and courage to do it.

Happiness is based on happenings, but joy is based on Jesus.

This isn’t fickle positivity. This is solid hope.

‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’

(John 16:33 NIV)

Alice is 18 and from England. She gave her life to Jesus about 5 years ago, and was baptized in July 2015. She feels that she is called to creative evangelism after receiving many prophecies from various people. She's a keen musician, photographer, writer, and speaker, and she hopes to involve all of these passions when sharing the love of Jesus to the world. She looks forward to moving to a city to attend university, engrossing herself in youth culture and wider communities.