April 13, 2022

Hope Over Despair

Written by Boyd Bailey

The environment of love our Lord Jesus creates—sprouts hope in the heart of the hurting.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 13, 2022

In the crowd that day there was a woman who for twelve years had been afflicted with hemorrhages. She had spent every penny she had on doctors but not one had been able to help her. She slipped in from behind and touched the edge of Jesus’ robe. At that very moment her hemorrhaging stopped. Jesus said, “Who touched me?” Jesus insisted, “Someone touched me. I felt power discharging from me.” When the woman realized that she couldn’t remain hidden, she knelt trembling before him. In front of all the people, she blurted out her story—why she touched him and how at that same moment she was healed. Jesus said, “Daughter, you took a risk trusting me, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Luke 8:43-48, MSG

Jesus, on His way to heal a dying 12-year-old girl, encountered a woman who had a chronic health condition, having plagued her for 12 years. One young and without a touch from Jesus, was about to die—one older and without a touch from Jesus, was ready to die. Though on His way to the young one, the Lord was not too busy to heal one who had depleted all her resources on doctors and medicine. Now lost, fearful and embarrassed, she needed the Great Physician’s hope, emotional comfort, pure love, forgiveness of sin and physical healing. Her shame made her feel hidden and alone, but love drew her out to touch the garment of God. She may have never felt a father’s love, so Jesus tenderly called her daughter, affirming her trust with healing and blessing! 

Charles Spurgeon, London’s prodigy preacher of the mid to late 1800’s, shares these insights on the ailing older woman’s choice of hope over despair: She had resolved not to die if a cure could be had. She was evidently a woman of great determination and hopefulness. She knew that this disease of hers would cause her life to ebb away, and bring her to the grave; but she said within herself, “I will have a struggle for it. If there is a possibility of removing this plague it shall be removed, let it cost me what it may of pain or payment…Spurgeon continues on the presumptuousness of despair, None are more presumptuous than the despairing. When men have no hope, they soon have no fear. Is not this a dreadful thing? May the Lord save you from such a condition! Despair of God’s mercy is an unreasonable thing: if you think you have grounds for it, the lying spirit must have suggested them to you. Holy Scripture contains no justification for hopelessness. No mortal hath a just pretense to perish in despair. Neither the nature of God, nor the gospel of God, nor the Christ of God, warrant despair. 

“Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.” (Isaiah 9:1, NLT). 

The environment of love our Lord Jesus creates—sprouts hope in the heart of the hurting. Unhurried He stops to offer hope to the hurting heart that reached out to touch Him. As Spurgeon highlighted, the sick woman’s determination was fueled by her hopefulness, not a naïve presumption but an educated gumption—her hopeful heart was captured by her Creator. She had heard of the Great Physician, and now she encountered Him in the flesh; and she was in need of her flesh to be made whole. The physician with the best bedside manner stood still to calm the heart of this precious daughter of the King with His gift of hope and healing. Her grief led her to God instead of driving her away in despair. Hope motivated her even more the more she experienced loss. 

Curt Thompson, one of my favorite writers/teachers, describes the pain of the grief process: 

Grief is our emotional inflammatory response to loss. It is an interpersonal neurobiological event with which we react when we are deprived of something—anything—to which we have a significant emotional attachment, to which we have ascribed salient meaning. It could be a relationship. An object. An event or experience. A job, a title, a savings account, an expectation or hope. 

This dear woman did not allow her loss of health to cause her to lose faith in Jesus. Broke and broken she continued on to pursue her Suffering Servant, who felt her grief and recognized her desperate situation. He rewarded her perseverance and hopefulness with love and healing!

“Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me” (Psalm 66:20)!


Heavenly Father, I celebrate my hope in Christ and praise you for your faithfulness, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, amen.


What fear is causing me despair that I need to replace with hope and rest in the Lord’s peace.

Related Reading

Ezra 10:2; Job 11:18; Philippians 2:19; 1 Timothy 4:10

Worship Resource

Hope Darst: Peace Be Still


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