‘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’

I want to remind you again of that picture that I was given by God – of this time in my life being a “mountain of trouble and despair” that I must get across in order to get to the other side – a beautiful vale of hope and happiness. I want to remind you that the narrow, and seemingly treacherous, path that I am walking on to get across this mountain is in fact a blessed path – provided for me by Father God to get across this mountain of “trouble and despair”, and that I am not alone on this path – even though it might feel like it – for He is with me to make my steps firm and to stop me from falling even though I stumble.

When I wake up in the early hours of the morning the battle that I fight is of the enemy, the devil whispering a message of hopelessness into my mind – “there is no hope for you any more – no hope of happiness; no hope of a relationship with one who will be your mate, your help-mete; for you have lost all you have held dear in this world, it will not be restored, loneliness lies ahead – there is no hope for you”.

Hope is what keeps you going over the “mountain of trouble and despair”. When there is no hope, there is only despair. When there is no hope there is no vision of what lies on the other side. When there is no hope, there is no reason to go on. When there is no hope you give up and fall over the precipice of despair.

I have seen this loss of all hope in so many of the young people with whom I have worked over the years – no more so than in Tiffany – she lost all hope of a loving relationship, all hope of a future, very early in life and her response was prolific self-harm and an attempt to throw herself off a railway bridge to end it all. I can understand where she “is coming from”.

But the devil is a liar.

Despair is the opposite of hope.

Despair is a feeling. Hope is a sure and certain promise.

Hope is something we are given to hold on to.

Hope comes from Trust in the promise of the One who declared:

‘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’

Hope is the gift of God that enables us to press on across the “mountain of trouble and despair”. The promise of Hope is seen so clearly in these words of Paul:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15: 13)

Contrast that with the opposite: “the devil of despair wishes to fill you with misery and anxiety as you listen to the lies that he sows in your mind, so that you wallow in despair that comes from the fear birthed in you by this evil spirit”

Just like “God is love” so God is “hope” – it is an attribute of His. There is no despair in Him; no surrender; no “I give up because I cannot do it”. In God is the certainty of hope – the certainty that things will work out for the best; the certainty that, in the end, all will be well; the certainty that there is a Promised Land on the other side of the “mountain of trouble and despair”.

Where there is despair there is no joy and no peace – over-and-over again our mind and feelings tell us to give up. BUT, believing in this Hope we CHOOSE (decision and not feeling) to put our trust in Him. And this trust means that even when we FEEL things are hopeless we TRUST that He will give us a supernatural joy and peace of heart and mind and soul and spirit despite what we feel.

Believing in the “God of Hope” we let go of our hopelessness and allow the “power of the Holy Spirit” who is in us to fill us with hope to the point that we literally overflow with this certainty of hope – that all will be well – overflowing speaking of others seeing it and being in wonder over it.


We often use the word ‘hope’ when we want something to happen but we’re not sure it will. We hope fixing the car won’t cost too much. We hope our children graduate. We hope the medical test goes well. But our hope in God – the “God of hope” isn’t wishful thinking; it’s trusting God. So how do you keep hope alive when you’re out of work, or when those medical tests come in horribly, or when your spouse leaves you? ‘God, the source of hope, will fill you…with…peace because you trust in him.’



Now the Bible is FULL of hope – of many kinds and forms – but I just want to focus on the three areas of hope that, for me, are most relevant at this time:

  1. Firstly, and more important than anything else, is the sure and certain hope of eternal life in Paradise with God:

For our faith and trust in this is – that “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11: 1)

Though I may be on the “mountain of trouble and despair” my sure and certain hope is what I know is on the other side! For “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8: 18)

  • Secondly, is a sure and certain hope that we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8: 28)

Though I may be on the “mountain of trouble and despair” and feel like all is lost and that there is no future, yet my sure and certain hope is that He is working all things out for my benefit, that He is going to use even this awful time to bring good. Our enemy, the devil “intended to harm me, but God intended it for good” (Genesis 50: 20)

  • Thirdly, is a sure and certain hope that not only is He with me now but that He is ALWAYS going to be with me. For we are promised that “the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1: 9) and “surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28: 20)

Though I may be on the “mountain of trouble and despair” my sure and certain hope is that I will NEVER be walking that God-given path across on my own but that He will make “firm the steps of the one who delights in him; 24 though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand” (Psalm 37: 23-24). HE IS WITH ME!

Because we have HOPE we TRUST in the LORD and in all His wonderful promises to be with us and see us over that “mountain of trouble and despair”. So, let me finish with a wonderful quote from Charles Spurgeon which should spur us on to increased hope and trust in Him:

“To trust God in the light is nothing, but to trust Him in the dark that is faith”